The City deciding to put living weed eaters into motion in Kenna Cartright Park is not a baaaaad idea.
Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control will arrive in Kamloops with its herd of goats on Monday to browse around and munch down problem plants in the well-used City park.
Owners Conrad and Donna Lindblom will bring a couple hundred goats, along with horses and herd dogs, for eight to 10 days to get the 33-hectare job done.
Unlike cows, goats have the ability to digest seeds, so what they leave behind won’t begin blooming anew, rather will simply break down as a natural fertilizer.
Given how pesticide use is such a hot topic of late, it’s an innovative solution to employ such an environmentally friendly method of tackling noxious weeds like toadflax, tansy and thistle in an area that would be tough for us two-footed types to readily get around.
Coun. Donovan Cavers’ motion for a ban on pesticide use in the city was rejected only last week in a 5-4 vote and it’s an issue people remain sharply divided on.
Those liking how pesticides make their yards look, along with representatives from industry argue the government has approved pesticide use for lawn care and as such, should be case closed.
Opponents are equally vocal about the issue, calling pesticides cancer-causing, poison and an unnecessary risk.
So the idea of setting goats out in the steep area shouldn’t draw opposition from either camp — they aren’t replacing pesticide use on anyone’s private property, but why not reduce the use of pesticides on public lands, where possible?
In addition to being environmentally-friendly, goats are quiet, efficient (they can eat four pounds of weeds a day) and it will be interesting to watch them chowing down on the steep hillsides.
And if that weren’t enough to like, they’re cost-efficient: the animal weed eaters run $300 a hectare. If the City were to spray, it would pay $1,000 a hectare, using KRCC inmates to pull weeds by hand costs $800 a hectare and if City staff were used to do the same, $5,000 a hectare.
We’ll cross our fingers that the pilot project proves successful and can be broadened to other City parks in future.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.