Durango, Colo. – A former wildland firefighter has helped start a new business in Durango called Durangot, which uses an unusual tool to reduce the risk of wildfires.
12 They release a herd of goats onto their property with weeds, weeds and bushes for the goats to touch.
Johnathan Bartley is one of the co-founders of Durango. He said he spent four years fighting fires in the Pacific Northwest.
“It won’t take long to realize that they are mismanaging our forests and what we are doing right now is important, protecting homes, saving people’s livelihoods,” he said.
When Bartley moved to Durango, he soon discovered the solution was goats.
“I became friends with the local goat cheese farmers, Brain Mesa Farms, and they came in February and told me they had 90% goats,” he said.
Then Bartley said that they had offered him some of those goats to advise him.
With no farm animal experience, Bartley took in those unwanted goats and raised them to do what they do best – munch.
“What they’re doing is cleaning out what’s called the ladder fuels … so if you remove the lower-level fuel, what you have is a little more fire-safe environment — there’s a gap between the rotating fire and the upper curtain,” Bartley said.
The goats take a part of the thick brush and thin it.
Bartley added: “There are a lot more benefits to it than coming here with chainsaw work, it’s also more economical and you know you’re doing what nature intended.”
While Bartley misses being a firefighter, he says he’s making a difference just with his various partners.
“Just like you don’t have to be on the front lines to be a part of wildland fire protection, I still feel like I’m playing a part in it.”
Bartley added that goat grazing helps conserve water and helps keep invasive plant species at bay.