October 19, 2021
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The California Department of Transportation is experimenting with goats as part of a pilot project that aims to control weeds within a 20-acre site adjacent to Highway 1 just north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.

Instead of relying on herbicides, Caltrans is taking what it calls a “more sustainable approach” to revitalizing the native coastal prairie adjacent to a highway realignment project originally completed in 2017.

According to an agency statement, the project brought in 300 goats for nearly a month to help remove invasive non-native weeds such as bur clover, mustard, and thistle.

Caltrans added that the animals were confined to selected grazing areas by temporary fencing which was moved every few days as the goats “grazed” at a rate of approximately one acre per day.

editor@aashto.org

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