To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

Unintended consequences of using goats to graze Arundo

While the idea of using goats to remove Arundo sounds great, it is not practical and would have unintended environmental consequences. The stored energy reserves in Arundo are very high and the many years goats would need to be in the stream corridor to eliminate the plant would significantly damage the stream corridor, de-stabilize stream banks and cause erosion. Furthermore, the palatability of Arundo has been shown to be poor, so it is likely that grazing animals would consume most of the native vegetation prior to Arundo. Grazing animals are discouraged in the stream by regulatory agencies because they pose a trampling threat to amphibians such as the California red-legged frog. Additionally, in the process of grazing, animals break off parts of the Arundo rhizomes, and each is capable of traveling downstream and starting a new infestation. Grazing would also result in results in large amounts of goat manure which is rich in nitrates. Our local waterways are already on state lists as impaired for nutrients such as nitrates, and adding additional nitrates from animal waste would work against regional efforts to reduce these compounds in our water. After considering the impacts of grazing Arundo, is not a workable option.