Year Of The Goat Saved Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

A 2019 headline could have read "Ravenous Goats Credited With Thwarting California Wildfire." If Time Magazine also published an "Animal of the Year" issue, in addition to "Person of the Year," goats would have had a good shot at that distinction. While the eighth in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac is "sheep," perhaps if the Chinese had read this year's tea leaves a little closer, they might have swapped out the "goat" for the "pig" this year.

California Wildfires

According to the US Forest Service and Interior Department officials, projections indicated that the fire season in California would be one of the worst yet.

While this year has not concluded, traditionally October through December is considered to have the greatest fire potential each year. This year, the Diablo winds and the Santa Ana winds were the major threats during this timeframe.

Proactively, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library hired a goat squadron of 500 goats during the spring in order to munch their way through around 13 acres (5 hectares) of scrubland around the library that could have provided tinder-like fuel to a wildfire.

“We actually worked with the Ventura County fire department in May and they bring out hundreds of goats to our property,” Melissa Giller, a spokeswoman for the library, told ABC. “The goats eat all of the brush around the entire property, creating a fire perimeter.”

The Mighty 500

The goats were hired from a firm called 805 Goats, which owns an army of goats with humorous names, which are a 'play on words', such as Vincent van Goat, Selena Goatmez, Goatzart.

Goats are growing in popularity as a tool to mow lawns. Back in 2009, Google launched an initiative, which received widespread national publicity when they took a low-carbon approach to mowing fields at their Mountain View headquarters’ in the Silicon Valley. The company bills clients approximately $1,000 per acre of goat-cleared land.

In regards to fighting wildfires, they are viewed as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly method than teams of human workers using chemicals. 805 Goats is in the process of expanding its herd to cope with future fires in California, and graze down brush to create these firebreaks. fueled by the climate crisis.

Goats are heroes

In preventing the fires that could have damaged or razed this iconic library, goats accomplished their "all-you-can-eat assignment" by saving such library treasures as a piece of the Berlin Wall, Airforce One, in addition to the burial sites of the president and his wife, Nancy Reagan.

As heroes, they deserve the proclamation of "Animals of the Year," don't you think? BTW, the "Person of the Year" was just announced as I was publishing this blog. And, coincidentally Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist who, along with these goats were intrinsically involved in gaining worldwide attention for climate change in 2019. No kidding.


Primary Source: The Guardian