Managing Vegetation with Goats at Ensign Hollow
STRAWBERRY POINT - Fish and wildlife managers with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be using prescribed grazing with goats at the Ensign Hollow Wildlife Management Area and trout stream in Clayton County, from July 5th through September 30th.
Roughly 60 goats will be rotated between two paddocks, 3-4 acres each, around the trout stream. A total of seven acres will be grazed in the 40-acre Wildlife Management Area.
Anglers, hikers and bird watchers are urged to minimize disturbance to the fences and goats on the area. Access to the area will still be allowed, but users should be aware of electric fences and pay attention to signage.
Vegetation management is essential to managing stream corridors on state owned land. This management suppresses growth of unwanted native species like boxelder, willow, and nettles. It also slows the spread of invasive species like reed canary grass, garlic mustard and Japanese knotweed.
Vegetation management improves mature timberand native prairie grass plantings and allows better access for recreational users.
“Ensign Hollow is a great trout stream but dense vegetation in the riparian corridor limits public use during the summer and fall,” said Dan Kirby, district fisheries biologist for the DNR.
Several tools are used to manage vegetation including mowing, herbicide application, burning and grazing. This project will experiment with the use of grazing as a vegetation management tool on stream corridors.
Want to learn more?
Check out the story in the current July/August 2014 issue of the Iowa Outdoors Magazine!
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