Goats in the Chaparral

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $19,990.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:


  • Animals: goats


  • Animal Production: preventive practices, range improvement
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, public participation

    Proposal summary:

    The 65 members of the Sunflower Coordinated Resource Management Program (SCRMP) are working to mitigate the fire danger that lurks in the chaparral lands of the West. Together the group of landowners and government agencies manages 40,000 acres running from 1,000 feet to 5,500 in elevation. SCRMP has mechanically cleared 30 miles of ridge lines to form 300-foot-wide fuel breaks and cleared 2,500 acres of land through prescribed burning. They realize fire and mechanical treatments are only stopgap measures, so they’ve been testing small numbers of goats to see if they can prevent chaparral regrowth and, at the same time, produce a marketable commodity. So far, they’ve been pleased with the results. Now, they will use their Western SARE Farmer/Rancher grant to assess the feed value of the brush so they can formulate what supplements may been needed to sustain the goats, especially their reproductive health.

    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.