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As part of an annual tradition that has taken place for the last 18 summers, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has brought back a herd of goats to graze the surrounding hills.

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The main purpose of the grazing is to minimize the risk of wildfires, which is highest during the summer months.

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The lab works with Goats R Us, a family-owned and -operated company that provides herds for these exact purposes.

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This year, the herd totals 800 goats. The breeds include Angora, Alpine, Spanish, Boer, Nubian and pygmy.

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A herder from Goats R Us lives on-site to maintain and control the goats during the duration of their stay, which is usually five to six weeks.

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The goats are carefully monitored to make sure they do not overgraze, which could cause soil erosion and long-term damage to the property.

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Thomas Price, maintenance supervisor for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, says that the goats are “always a crowd pleaser” each year.

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While the goats are not directly accessible to the public, they can be seen scattered across the hillsides with a simple drive up on a lab shuttle.

 

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