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            News Release




Subject:   Goats Make a Return Visit to Seattle City Light
For Immediate Release:   
6/19/2007  8:15:00 AM
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Goats Make a Return Visit to Seattle City Light
Back for a second year, Healing Hooves tackle the blackberries at substation


SEATTLE - Seattle City Light will again use goats to help clear brush from its North Seattle Substation, 814 NE 75th St., for five days starting the week of June 24, 2007. The goats from the Healing Hooves, LLC, were used last year to begin the process of clearing an overgrown slope on the north end of the substation property. The herd is returning to work on the spring blackberry and ivy growth. Work started in September 2006 when 280 goats and the shepherd were turned loose on the noxious weeds.

We learned a lot from that first trial run, says Betsey Searing, landscape supervisor for Seattle City Light. The goats did a good job of clearing paths up the steep slope and exposing the northern boundary fence so our crew could get in to an area that was almost impassable before. There was a lot more work than expected and the initial three days in September werent enough to complete the job. We may be bringing the goats back again, adds Searing. It just depends on how much they are able to accomplish this time. Once we get down to the rocks and dirt on the slope, we will have a better idea of what it will take to complete the job.

Human crews have worked on removing the thick trunks along the fence line and opened up some paths that will allow the goats to reach the most remote parts of the approximately one acre area in the substation.

The goats are kept in a fenced enclosure and will not roam outside of the area to be cleared, except to move to a livestock trailer. The shepherd uses a border collie to help herd the goats back and forth, and a portable electrified livestock fence keeps the goats away from the substations electrical equipment as well as the street. The entire area is enclosed by a chain link fence and isnt accessible to the public.

Neighbors of the substation in the Roosevelt/Maple Leaf neighborhood were very receptive to the goat herd last summer. They even threw an impromptu block party for Shepherd Craig Madsen. City Light received many complements on both the clearing of the brush as well as the use of the goats in lieu of more traditional vegetation methods.

The exact dates of the goats arrival has not been determined but will be toward the beginning of the week of June 24, 2007. If you have additional question, please visit our Web site at www.seattle.gov/light or call 206-386-1650.



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