The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is utilizing a herd of 64 goats to reduce unwanted vegetation on the banks of an Iowa stream.
Ensign Hollow Wildlife Management Area in Clayton County, Iowa is a popular site for trout fishing, bird watching, and fly anglers. However, dense vegetation along the banks of Hewett Creek is discouraging recreational use.
The goats, which are being contracted out from Twin Pine Farms in Delhi, are well equipped to eat invasive and thorny plants. Additionally, their small hooves will do little to no damage to stream banks. Goats are also much more efficient and environmentally friendly than mowing and pesticides.
Two miniature donkeys will join the herd for protection against predators.
The goats will remain in place until September, at which time the DNR will reevaluate their use.