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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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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