Now that the ash from the Griffith Park and Catalina firestorms has settled, citizens want to know what local governments plan do to protect our precious parks from more devastating fires. One solution that’s been proposed is simple, inexpensive and ecological: hire herds of trained fire goats to eat the dry brush before it has a chance to burn. The online Fire Goats Petition has been signed by more than 900 people and featured on KABC news, KFI’s John and Ken Show, KFWB, KTLK, LA CityBeat and LAObserved.
On Wednesday evening, May 23, community members come together at a Griffith Park Community Meeting called by Councilman Tom LaBonge to discuss the future of the park post-fire and to salute the brave LAFD Officers who served on the fire line. Refreshments will be served. The meeting starts at 6pm, but outside the venue at 5:30pm, members of the public and media will have a chance to learn more about the Fire Goats from a very special group of humans and animals.
Frankie the Fire Goat, animal ambassador for fire safety, will be on hand in his cute little fire hat to pose for photos solo and with his members of his beautiful showgirl fan club, The Ashettes. Also attending is Frankie’s shepherdess, Sarah Bunten of Nanny and Billy’s Vegetative Management, to answer questions about her nine years experience clearing brush with managed herds, including her current work for the Getty Museum. Kim Cooper, author of the Fire Goat Petition will be present, as will Judy Cairns from Peck Park Goats, a citizens group dedicated to retaining Sarah’s herd year-round at San Pedro’s Peck Park, where they would be part of an urban farm youth educational program when not clearing brush at other SoCal sites.
Managed grazing by hired herds might sound like an oddball idea, but it’s been enthusiastically embraced in Northern California, which has spent the past 16 years since the deadly 1991 Oakland Hills Conflagration largely fire-free, in stark contrast to flame-swept SoCal. Why are goats the best choice to clear deadly dry brush from our hills and canyons? SAVINGS: acre-for-acre, the cost for a goat herd to clear land is about half the cost of human brush clearing, and goats aren’t just immune to poison oak, they eat it! EFFICIENCY: a herd of 350 goats can clear an acre in a day, leaving the grass cropped down to putting green height and dangerous dry brush eliminated. Plus they can get into areas that humans can’t safely reach. ENVIRONMENT: unlike gasoline-powered brush clearing tools, goats are quiet and nearly carbon-neutral, and they fertilize the land as they work. CHARISMA: goats are so cute, they’re a perfect advertisement for fire safety, an issue we all need to be more aware of.
Please come out Wednesday to learn more about this innovative fire fighting technique, discuss the future of Griffith Park and give a big thank you to the fire fighters who did such a wonderful job two weeks ago.
Location: Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive, LA 90027
Time: Weds 5/23 at 5:30pm (Fire Goat meet and greet); 6pm (Community Meeting)
Frankie is looking forward to meeting you!