[Update from UCSF Facilities Services 3/4/2013: goat grazing is postponed due to bird nesting season and will resume later in the year.]
UCSF Facilities Services is setting up two areas to test the effectiveness of goat grazing as an alternative to mechanical brushing in the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. This grazing project falls under routine maintenance and is not related to the Mount Sutro Management project that is currently undergoing environmental review. The primary purpose of the grazing project is to immediately treat the growth of poison oak that has become a significant public health hazard along the trails. If the goat grazing effort proves to be an effective treatment method it may be used in the future for ongoing trailside maintenance.
The two parcels are adjacent to Nike Road and the South Ridge/West Ridge Trails and are not within any of the four demonstration projects outlined in the current Mount Sutro Management project. A non-electric fence will be put up for the goat’s protection and a goat herder will be on-site at all times. Signs will be posted requesting caution from dog walkers and the existing mandatory leashing policy will be in effect.
The target start date for this project is Monday, March 4th. If a trail needs to be temporarily closed, signs will be posted and it is estimated that the grazing will be complete within 21-35 days for both areas. The time frame is wholly dependent on the rate of grazing, which cannot be guaranteed.
If you'd like more information about this project, contact Damon Lew at UCSF