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Goat and Sheep Wildfire Prevention Grazing Changes for 2024

Posted on May 20, 2024

Goats and sheep are expected to begin grazing within San Rafael and Marinwood in the coming months. This year there will be some small changes to the goat and sheep grazing program to provide the best service to our community, to better reduce the impacts of wildfire, and to provide the most environmentally conscious and informed work. Sheep and goats will only be grazing the Idylberry and Grasshopper Hill sites in Marinwood, as well as, the San Rafael Hill and Deer Valley open space sites in San Rafael. After two years of intensive rain we are pausing grazing on all other sites before re-introducing goats and sheep in 2025 to minimize any negative impacts. In several of the areas we are not grazing this year, please expect crews with string trimmers or mowers to remove grasses and fine fuels along roads and fence lines.

The City contracts with a grazing service provider with expertise in caring for the animals’ safety and wellbeing. Herders and herding dogs live on site to monitor the welfare of the animals and to address any urgent issues that may come up. Herds are contained by low voltage electric fences around the perimeter of the grazing area. Additionally, herders conduct regular inspections of the sites to make sure the goats are eating the right food.

While our team takes every precaution possible, our furry friends are intelligent and curious. In rare circumstances, they may make an escape.

If you see a goat or sheep outside of its pen, call the City of San Rafael’s non-emergency number at (415) 485-3000. Be sure to let us know where the animal is, and we will contact the herder to bring them home. Do not approach the goat or sheep because they may get startled and run away.

Please also remember not to touch the electric fences. If you see anyone tampering with them, please reach out to the City immediately.

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