Normally, the image of a large, friendly bear with a ranger hat on is what we think of when forest fire prevention is brought up. But in California, there's a new face in the forest. Goats.
At the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, in Berkeley CA, administrators hired a firm, Goats R Us, to clear vegetation on the hills surrounding the lab. Clearing the brush prevents the spread of fires and the area surrounding the lab has seen its share of fast moving fires. Using goats is an environmentally friendly way to clear the hills since it involves no fuel emissions and the goats typically eat only the tops of the plants, not the roots and this decreases damage to the soil.
600 goats were released on the lab grounds and they will stay for approximately six weeks in an effort to clear almost 100 acres. Staff at the lab have become used to the herds and having to stop traffic when they are on the move from one area to another.