Ovine Browsing for Brush Control of Forested Environments

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2003: $7,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Jeff Nauman
Idaho Department of Lands


  • Animals: bovine, goats


  • Animal Production: range improvement
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    The forest industry, like much of agriculture, has come to rely on the quick fix of chemical herbicides, which can reduce soil productivity and habituate dependence. In this Western SARE grant, ranchers Ray and Marianne Holes of the Lazy H Ranch near White Bird, Idaho, want to demonstrate that goat browsing can be an effective means of treating brush encroachment without the use of chemicals. Working with Jeff Nauman of the Idaho Department of Lands, the Holes will test three protocols for reducing the heavy brush canopy in harvested areas – burning only, burning followed by goat browsing and browsing only. They’ll also test the effect of browsing only on recently planted tree plantations. Success will provide education for large owners of Idaho timberlands about the benefits of browsing over herbicides.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.