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Goats and sheep go to work in the forest

white goat
Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Pacific BioEnergy (PacBio) is turning to some B.C .forest history this summer while conducting ‘brushing and weeding’ activities under its silviculture responsibilities.  PacBio is testing the use of goats and sheep on sites totalling approximately 100 hectares in the Bobtail Fire Rehabilitation Area as an alternative to using mechanical equipment or herbicide applications. Use of goats and sheep to help with reforestation was common in the 1990s and earlier in the B.C. Interior but the practice has become less common since then.

PacBio is working with two local companies providing goats and sheep.  The first is BC Timber Goats of Quesnel.  Owner Bruce Bradley manages about 100 goats using herding dogs and drones.  The second company is owned by Bonnie Zawada and Tom Robertson who have a ranch on Blackwater Road. Their 80 sheep and 20 goats have forestry brushing experience on sites adjacent to their ranch. 

“Part of our decision to use goats and sheep in this area of the Bobtail was to continue moving forward on our sustainability efforts,” said PacBio Woodlands Manager, Joe Kenney. “Avoiding the use of loud, diesel-driven mechanical equipment together with the benefits of using goats and sheep should have an incredibly positive outcome for the recently planted seedlings and area wildlife.  We will continue to look for innovative ways to conduct our business in the most sustainable manner possible.”

“PacBio is proud to take low-grade and burnt wood fibre and make high-energy, all-natural wood pellets for sale to customers in Japan and Europe,” said PacBio President and CEO, John Stirling. “We see the use of goats and sheep in our reforestation work as just another part of our creative and sustainable approach. At PacBio, we will keep pushing the boundaries of innovation and ingenuity, even if means trying a traditional practice such as using goats and sheep to help our reforestation efforts.”

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