Goats help levee system by eating - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Goats help levee system by eating

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MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. -- More than 200 goats have been gnawing down brush on the shoreline of the Walla Walla river since last Wednesday.

So far 80 percent of grass and bushes have been cleared so inspectors can see the condition of a levee that stands between the Walla Walla river and Milton-Freewater.

Using the goats appears to be a win - win for everyone.

"We're not using herbicide and spraying vegetation. We're not burning it and making neighbors mad by smoking them out. We're using goats that are just walking along and eating the vegetation," explains Steven Patten of the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council.

Goat farmer Craig Madison says this project is perfect for the animals,"and goats, that's what they prefer. They're a browser, so they like brush and bramble so they do a good job on that kind of vegetation."

The goats have been used for projects like this for the last nine years. They will continue eating until Saturday. The Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council helped bring them in with a seven thousand dollar grant from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources.