At the “Life Can Be So Car Free” event at the Cornfield last fall, I saw a woman walking a pair of pygmy goats. And they were SO adorable that I immediately begged my boyfriend for goats as pets, once we bought a house with a yard. “They could mow the lawn and eat compost!” I argued. “They would be functional pets!”
Turns out that goats are not just functional pets, but also functional fire-fighting animals! The 1947 project just put up a whole page on the subject, linking to cases and articles where goats have been used to eat the flammable underbrush. They encourage everyone to sign their petition demanding goats for fire safety.
I’m a little concerned that the coyotes might find the goats to be meals-on-hoofs, but otherwise, I think it’s a great idea. Clearing flammable secondary growth = less brush fires. See, honey? Those pet goats I wanted might save our lives someday!
EDIT: The LA County Fire Department also encourages people to use goats to clear their own property – which is “biological control”. They refer to goat vendors as “hazard reduction services to assist landowners in complying with brush clearance codes.” More endorsements for goats!