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Pia Jensen

May 15, 2013
01:45

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I like this very much, though, I worry about the health of the goats - eating roadside plants which are subjected to pollutants/emissions may not be good for the critters. Might be a hard sell to goat owners who seek to extend their investments' lifespan and if females are used, I doubt anyone would want their milk. Male goats may experience irreparable damage to DNA, or at the very least, their organs and productive system. I hate the thought that this idea has serious negative side effects... sorry.

Charles Rose

May 15, 2013
01:48

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I agree and will add this to the costs section. However, there is a large base of experience and knowledge of both highways and goats, going back centuries. So steps can be taken to address this. In particular, it does not apply to power line right of ways. Additionally, pollutant and emission loads can be mapped, and appropriate restrictions built into the program.

Pia Jensen

May 15, 2013
01:11

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Awesome! So glad to hear you say this, thank you!

Pia Jensen

May 15, 2013
01:25

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perhaps - some sort of thick mesh set between road and vegetation to block and cover can be set up prior to limit what drops on those areas... U shape, inverted :)

Charles Rose

May 15, 2013
02:15

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Thanks for the suggestion. However we are talking millions of miles of right of way and I suspect the only feasible approach would be to map restrictions: this area is no-go, this area is good but not for food products, this area is good for all uses etc. There exist extensive GIS systems (maintained by government agencies .. ) with a lot of information about uses, which would ideally be connected with GPS applications to give goatherds real-time information about where they could do what tasks.

Pia Jensen

May 15, 2013
08:57

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Thank you for being so cognizant of the issues and creative in your responses!

2013ag/forestryjudges 2013ag/forestryjudges

Jul 3, 2013
02:17

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(1) Replacing herbicide by goats is feasible but may be difficult to apply safely to roads. Goats are commonly used in lands all over the US. (2) Novelty is limited and ideas are not very different. (3) Impact of climate change can certainly be significant since using herbicides poison the environment and sever links in the carbon fixation cycle. (4) Proposal is clear. There are no graphics or visual elements nor artistic reprentations.

Richard Adamson

Jul 10, 2013
12:51

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The idea is presently being used at San Francisco airport as well to deal with control without threatening endangered species in the area. I like it (on modest scale applications.) While this approach may work in many parts of the southern US, where there is greater seasonal variation (Northern US & Canada) will the penalties of feeding and keeping the goats over the winter period offset some of the benefits calculated? If so, how much? Also related to scaling: what works for a herd of a few hundred goats may not scale. If the economics are based on there being a market for goat meat, milk, cheese etc., I suggest that that market is already adequately met. Is it likely that through some miracle of marketing we could foresee a 100x to 1000x increase in the market for goat-based food products?