Saturday, August 17, 2013

Goats to Help Tend Historic Grave Sites in the Nation’s Capital

This is welcome.  The real problem is that herding goats does not pay because you need a shepherd.  This has to be better thought out, because there is ample forage in inconvenient locations that beg close cropping by our voracious goat.

The best way, and I think that this will apply to all animals before we are finished is to invent a collar to be applied to either all or some of the animals that makes an annoying pulse whenever the animal has strayed outside a perimeter.  All animals are nicely trainable to that extent at least and the perimeter can be set with simple beacons set at corners.  Even better, this gets rid of fencing.

Cattle immediately come to mind and their expensive fencing arrangements.  Such a device could easily be installed on or in the horn.

Goats have always been the obvious solution to robust weed management.  It is just that goat control is awfully difficult as in naturally expensive.  Our technology is certainly up to solving this problem.  It does not have to be too aggressive either because most of our animals are able to learn avoid annoyance.  After all we use electric fences for the same reason.

Goats to help tend historic grave sites in the nation’s capital

The Washington Times
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Forget the dog days of August. It’s goat days of Washington.

In the very near future, the historic, 207-year-old Congressional Cemetery in the nation’s capital will be neatened up by a herd of hoofed helpers

The non-profit Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery has partnered with a gaggle of 100 grazing goats, who will trim the exterior perimeters of the site from Aug. 7-12 as an “innovative green project.”

Indeed. The goats will graze 24 hours a day for six days, scarfing up vines, poison ivy, ground cover and random debris, “all the while fertilizing the ground,” organizers say.

“The revolutionary use of eco-goats eliminates the need for harmful herbicides and prevents the invasive and often foreign species from killing large mature trees in the cemetery’s wooded area, which can fall onto the grounds as a result and damage invaluable historic headstones,” the association says.

“This is also the first time we have found a suitable partner for a project inside the Beltway,” says Brian Knox, owner and supervising forester of Maryland-based Eco-Goats, home of the herd in question.

There are 65,000 people buried in the privately owned, 35-acre cemetery some 20 blocks from the U.S. Capitol. In all, the silent population includes 16 senators, 68 members of the House, and Vice Presidents Elbridge Gerry and George Clinton, according to the National Park Service.

Among the other famous buried there are FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, the “March King” John Philip Sousa, Civil War photographer Matthew Brady ,and Push-ma-ta-ha, chief of the Choctaw Indian tribe.

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