The herds are fun to watch, but residents are urged to keep safety in mind if they choose to observe them.
· Park safely off the road. Do not slow down or stop in the roadway.
· Use crosswalks when crossing a road.
· Be cautious of temporary wire fencing used for the herds. They may be energized fences that can cause small shocks if touched.
· Keep a safe distance from the herds. Do not allow pets into the open space area. The herds are protected by guardian dogs and other animals near the herds may be perceived as a threat.
For residents adjacent to open space where grazing will occur, keep the following in mind:
· Because goats and sheep like to eat almost everything, do not place any yard clippings, toxic material or potted plants in the open space area.
· Do not allow pets into the open space area while the goats and sheep are grazing.
· Ensure your fence is secure so grazing animals do not have access to your yard.
· Goats and sheep may be able to squeeze their heads through a wrought-iron fence, so protect your plants.
The city of Rocklin’s annual managed grazing program has begun. A grazing contractor has released a herd, consisting primarily of sheep, near William Jessup University.
Sheep are used when vegetation is still tender and green. Goats are typically used when vegetation begins to dry out. The managed grazing program is used throughout Rocklin in open space areas for vegetation management and to reduce fire hazards.
The program provides sustainable land management and brush and weed control without destroying the ecological balance in the open space areas. Grazing eliminates noxious weeds, helps restore native grasses and addresses fire prevention through fuel load reduction.
Other methods commonly used to control vegetation, such as manual/mechanical (hand or machine removal) and chemical (using herbicides), are not always practical or cost effective in large open space areas, according to a press release from the city.
Grazing has been around for years, but more recently has grown in popularity. In fact, many local and state government agencies are now using managed grazing as an environmentally friendly alternative to reduce fire hazard and control the growth of vegetation, particularly on steep or rocky terrain that is difficult to access.
For more information about Rocklin’s managed grazing program, including information on the herd’s current location, visit www.rocklin.ca.us/grazing. If you have any questions, call the Rocklin Fire Department at (916) 625-5300.