Cal Trans to use goats for invasive species control in SLO Co

Today’s Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019

District:            05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa 

                         Cruz Counties

Contact:          Jim Shivers or Colin Jones

Phone:            (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3189



SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY – Caltrans is using goats to aid in controlling weeds within a 20-acre site adjacent to Highway 1 just north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.  Instead of relying on herbicides, Caltrans is taking a more sustainable approach to revitalizing the native coastal prairie adjacent to the recent highway realignment project that was completed in 2017.

On Monday July 15th, two double decker trucks unloaded about 300 animals to help remove invasive non-native weeds such as bur clover, mustard, and thistle.  The animals are confined to selected grazing areas by temporary fencing which is moved every few days.  These goats will graze at a rate of approximately one acre per day, for the next three weeks.  This project will also help to reduce the use of herbicides.

“I am proud that our Landscape Architecture group is committed to designing sustainable and innovative solutions through collaborative teamwork.” said Caltrans District 5 Landscape Architect, Katherine Brown, who is overseeing this project as part of an intensive habitat restoration project.  The goats are managed by shepherds from Living Systems Land Management a subcontractor of the Caltrans prime contractor, Empire Landscaping Inc. of Davis, CA.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway construction zones.

For traffic updates on other state highways on the Central Coast motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at (805) 549-3318 or visit the District 5 website

6 thoughts on “Cal Trans to use goats for invasive species control in SLO Co

  1. Kate–Carmel has done this a few years ago and has it in the budget to do it again for Pescadero Canyon which divides Carmel-by-the-Sea from Pebble Beach.

    Sue McCloud

  2. I have a deep admiration for the goat trainers,
    that they can train the goats to distinguish between native versus invasive species. Brilliant!

  3. I do think that would be rather amazing But down there, it is primarily grassland, much planted by Cal Trans for the realignment work.

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