Chippers were in the neighborhood starting June 8th. Thanks to all who participated – you’ve helped Marinview be a bit safer.
Another Chipper Event– 8/3/20
FireSafe Marin is sponsoring a one-day chipper event in Marinview on August 3rd. This time, however, homeowners must register at the FireSafe website (www.firesafemarin.org) to get on the pickup list. Its estimated that up to 20 piles can be chipped in one day, thus, only the first 20 Marinview homeowners will make the cut (no pun intended). That said, homeowners registering after the first 20 will be placed on a waitlist and will receive an email if there’s cancellations. Great opportunity to get rid of dangerous juniper – called “gas bombs” by our fire professionals.
The herd has completed their work for this year. All in all, they did a great job in reducing dangerous amounts of brush & other vegetation throughout the neighborhood. And while there were a few bumps along the way (trees nibbled on, trail damage, etc..), these are lessons learned for next year. See Goat Notes below for more detail.
Star Creek Land Stewards’ herd of 400 goats arrived Sunday morning, May 17. They were deposited on a TCSD parcel below Deertrail Lane and above Countyview Drive. From there, the herd’s route was roughly counterclockwise, ending at the parcel across from the TCSD office on Bell Lane (not shown in the map below). After 21 days of grazing, the goats were extracted Saturday morning, June 6.
2020 Goat Stats:
Days in the hood: 21 (last year 8)
Acreage covered: approx. 21 (last year 8.4)
Total cost: $9,350 (TCSD) + $12,050 (County) = $21,400 (last year $11,960)
Cost per acre: $21,400/21 days = $1,019/acre (last year $1,423/acre)
Marinview residents overwhelmingly supports usage of goats to maintain public lands in a fire safe way. And while a few issues (barking dogs, tree nibbling, etc..) arose during the herd’s visit, every resident I talked with was VERY enthusiastic with having goats in the neighborhood. Other demonstrations Marinview support: 12 or so residents offered to water the goats for free and one night, two Marinview board members made the goat herder’s favorite Peruvian dish: Aja de Gallina:
Issues/Lessons learned for next year (LLNY)
Fencedamage – A small section of a fence at 446 Tennessee Valley Road was damaged by the herd as they moved from one parcel to the other. I understand Star Creek Land Stewards provided compensation to the owner. LLNY – Perhaps install sheets of plywood along the fence to better distribute the weight of the goats.
Trail damage – In the same area where the fence was damaged, the herd damage the trail, making it less pedestrian friendly. LLNY – Install a small retaining wall at this spot using sufficiently durable materials.
Fern damage – The north facing hillside of the Countyview bowl is an area with a high tree canopy and mostly ferns below. For this reason, last year we requested the herd not graze in this area. Unfortunately, they did so anyway and most of the ferns were damaged, probably by being trampled. This turned the hillside from green to brown, a situation several Marinview residents have commented on. The County is aware of this issue and is not concerned. LLNY – As best as can be done, minimize goat grazing in this area.
Tree damage – There were two instances where fencing had to be moved to protect a resident’s trees. LLNY – Next year, better communicate this issue to residents & better mark trees that need protection.
Dog issues – There were several complaints from residents about dogs barking at night. However, when it was explained that this was likely the guard dog protecting the herd, everyone completely understood. In addition, there was an incidence where one of the herding dogs was aggressive with a resident. The new goat herder’s lack of familiarity/control with the herding dog may have contributed to the situation. LLNY – this was not a problem last year and hopefully will not be a problem next year.
Moderate brush consumption in the Countyview bowl– While the goats did a great job everywhere else, they seemed to have consumed less brush in the Countyview bowl. LLNY – Perhaps use smaller paddocks or let the goats graze longer in this area.