Goats - Invasive Weed Reduction & Native Plant Reintroduction on River Bottom & Sage Habitat

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2023: $20,300.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Host Institution Award ID: G324-23-W9982
Grant Recipient: Big Sage Livestock
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Principal Investigator:
Kate Brewster
Big Sage Livestock


  • Animals: goats


  • Animal Production: range improvement
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, riverbank protection

    Proposal summary:

    Along the Nowood River of Wyoming we have a serious issue with non-native and invasive weeds. These have choked out lots of native grass species on the river bottoms and rangeland. We are looking to goats as a holistic way to reduce the weed population and re-introduce/increase the native grass species with seeding. We plan to run 3 test groups, one seeding BEFORE grazing, one seeding AFTER grazing and one test group of grazing alone. Our theory is that positive hoof traffic and manure deposits can help work the seeds into the soil without tillage. This will help reestablish and/or restrengthen native grass species while removing non-native, invasive ones.

    We will be grazing with a “take ½, leave ½” philosophy. All 3 test sections will be grazed for the same amount of time, by the same number and types of goats. We will be reseeding with a native blend recommended to us by our local BLM range con. We will be grazing all 3 sections at the same time to equally hit the weeds' life cycles.

    We know goats have proven to be great at removing and reducing weeds, but can we also utilize their hoof traffic and manure by seeding at specific times to help reestablish native grasses with better results than grazing alone.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    To show that reseeding native grasses, before or after grazing goats helps reduce invasive weeds and reestablish native grasses.

    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.