Fire Mitigation and Soil Restoration
Purpose: On the heels of California’s third driest year on record, TomKat Ranch wanted dry, parched vegetation removed from the landscape to promote conditions in which wildfires will not start as easily or spread as rapidly.
Action: TomKat Ranch teamed up with the Goatapelli Foundation and Lani Malmberg with Goat Green’s herd of 26th generationally breed goats for non-toxic fire mitigation prevention.
Outcome: Co-founder Lani Malmberg explains “The goats are doing fifteen things at the same time. Beyond clearing the fire fuel ladder, the land also benefits from improved soil conditions and better soil health. Unlike the use of chemical applications, goat hooves play an important role in creating soil that is healthy because now it holds air and moisture. When goats stomp around, they aerate the soil and trample plant matter aiding the breakdown of nutrients by fungi and bacteria and boosting soil health including its potential for water retention – particularly important when vegetation moisture levels are low. Their hoove action prevents erosion and builds soil structure. Simultaneously, the vegetation the goats eat moves through their digestive tract and delivers accessible nutrients to soil microbes. When goats lay down together to sleep or chew their cud, their body heat warms the soil, helping seeds germinate.
Recommendation: At TomKat Ranch, we encourage everyone to take fire fuel reduction seriously and do so in ecological-friendly ways. We can now easily walk through a hill that previously presented a high fire danger due to the density of brush close to buildings. Goatapelli’s ability to achieve this goal while benefiting our ecosystem and nourishing hundreds of hungry goats is a win=win for us all.