BREAKING NEWS - $10,000 has been received directly from the Mission Canyon Associate towards this fire clearance work in Santa Barbara County!! See the UPDATE page for more information.
Help us create a healthy, sustainable and proactive plan for Santa Barbara County’s wildfire threat. This type of sustainable land management benefits everyone. This project uses nature to find a solution to natural disasters and can provide an example for other communities to follow.
We are a local family owned and operated local business who devotes our life to helping protect the Santa Barbara Front Country from potential wildfire danger. When people ask us why we do what we do, our answer is simple; we believe that proactive preparation provides peace of mind. Together we can help us keep Santa Barbara's front country safe from wildfires.
With a broken heart, we have watched the hills of Santa Barbara County go up in flames, endangering both life and property, and in its wake leaving devastation.
2014 record level fire conditions expected due to the severe drought throughout California .*Wildfires in the wildland urban interface** pose a serious threat to us all in Santa Barbara County (in just a short 10 year period):
* USA Today, 12-27- 2013; National Geographic, 1-17- 2014
** A wildland urban interface refers to the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development
*** Data collected from CAL FIRE 2000/2010
The Wildfires:The Fire Department emphasizing that defensible space can make all the difference in the event of a fire. Thinning vegetation in strategic locations can help mitigate fire damage when these forceful firestorms strike.
Budget constraints, topography, climate, environmental concerns, negative impacts of herbicides, controlled burns and potentially dangerous land clearing equipment make this a complex problem. We must bring serious awareness to this growing issue in order to preserve the natural beauty and habitat of Santa Barbara County wildlands and personal property while reducing the adverse affects of fire in the urban interface. We have a sustainable solution and we invite you now to be part of that solution.
This type of sustainable land management benefits everyone. Your support of a project that uses nature to find a solution to natural disasters can provide an example for other communities to follow. Join our elite goat squad!
How you can help:
This campaign will facilitate a minimum of 30 acres of targeted, healthy, goat browse-edible areas, strategically chosen with the help of local agencies including our Santa Barbara area Fire Departments and Fire Safety Council as a mitigation plan for our county.
The maximum effectiveness of goats is right now before the vegetation becomes old growth. We can perform maintenance in our hills and canyons to keep areas beautiful and safe in an environmentally conscious way. The time is NOW.
Our initial total funding goal is $50,000. These funds will be used for vegetation thinning of areas selected by the fire departments. We have partnered with a local biologist will help us complete these projects with the least amount of environmental impact as possible.
We believe so deeply in this cause, that we are donating too. While we are a for profit business, because we understand the imperative timing of thinning the native vegetation in the Santa Barbara front country, we are donating 60% of our labor for this cause.
Where the Money Goes:
Goats enjoy thinning overgrown brush, devouring poison oak, weeds and many invasive plant species such as arundo, cape ivy, mustard, bull and star thistle, to name a few. When left unchecked, this vegetation in the urban interface is a major fire hazard. Short term, targeted thinning of strategically selected locations have the benefit of naturally fertilizing native perennials, and diminishing annual weedy ‘flash fuels’ such as mustard, fennel, and dry annual grasses. This form of land management helps firefighting personnel better protect lives and property.
Over the years we have had many success stories and our individual customers have benefited well; however, the big picture impact we could make is repeatedly missed. Rather than consecutive or even larger pockets, the locations in which our teams are called to work are sometimes often scattered and non-successive. In many professional’s mind, including ours, this is the crux of the wildfire problem. We need more fire safe zones.
Both large and small property owners must work together for the common good. Rather than inconsistent or varied locations for vegetation management, if it was possible to create a strategic and methodical approach to clear the vegetation and keep it clear, this would create a sustainable solution for the ongoing fires.
A Cycle of Health: In our Santa Barbara County, fire is a real issue that confronts us throughout the year. It is an inevitable occurrence, and in some instances, healthy for the land. However, in our populated areas, we are more than aware of its devastation. Brush Goats 4 Hire manages goats through ‘Target Browsing’ to help remove fire fuels (excess vegetation,understory litter, ladder fuels, old growth) that contribute to intense fires. ‘Target Browsing’ means the goats are carefully monitored for short periods of time within an enclosed area. This method has been successfully used for erosion control, restoration projects, and fire fuel modification zones.
Various tools are available for vegetation management. Frequently, goats are utilized where bulldozers, masticators and chippers can not go, and sometimes as maintenance tools after machines, men, and even fires have cleared. Whether due to topography, spark hazards, limited access, poison oak, restoration needs, or a variety of other reasons, using goats can be a smart choice. Weed whacker, though quick and inexpensive, only shorten then scatter the pieces. Goats remove more vegetation than weed whackers. Goats clean and ‘recycle’ materials back into the land. Their hoof action, while aerating, works dead vegetation into the soil. Their fertilizer adds nutrients. The renewed soil compound leads to improved root systems. Now the native vegetation is able to recover and compete against encroaching invasive plants. The need for herbicides gets eliminated. The land continues to improve. The goat’s contribution to this cycle of health creates ‘living greenbelts’ with less dead material, leaving renewed and healthy soil.
Our Company, Brush Goats 4 Hire is a local, licensed and insured family operation. Based in Santa Barbara County, we are happy to offer this eco-friendly alternative to our friends and neighbors for brush thinning, fuels load reduction, and land restoration. Working directly with each client, jobs are customized to support their needs as well as the land’s needs for optimal balance. One of our goals is to be able to help educate our clients, neighbors, City, and County on the many benefits of this very useful ‘Target Browsing’ system.
Our Goats, are a mix of Boer, Kiko, LaMancha and Spanish breeds. This herd combination of specific animals is selected based on aggressive brush eaters, easily and naturally able to traverse difficult terrain, while maintaining optimal health. They are entertaining to watch. Ours stay onsite 24/7 to ‘work’ removing vegetative materials. Then they lounge around enjoying our local sunrises and sunsets at their chosen, optimal, vantage points. They are not of the “petting zoo” variety; however, they are wonderful workers and enjoy their careers.
Our Predator Control Dogs, are from the Anatolian Shepherd and Maremma breeds used for centuries for predator control. They are amazing and beautiful working animals, yet they should not be compared to your traditional, household pet. Their natural and very strong instincts allows them to be extremely effective in protecting our herds against coyotes, bobcats, bear, mountain lions, domestic dogs and any other predator that threatens their “family.” They are vital for our work.
Our Solar Fencing, is a state-of-the-art, electric, netting style that is charged by solar panels. It allows for a safe and effective method of livestock and predator control dog containment. All our animals are trained and respect this style of fencing.
Please help us spread the word. For more information on the services Brush Goats 4 Hire provides and how goats provide vegetation management, visit our website at: www.brushgoats4hire.com. Follow us on Twitter @brushgoats4hire.