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  • Jon Riley

Summer Goat Grazing in the Broadview Neighborhood.

Following the 2015 Sleepy Hollow fire the City of Wenatchee, Chelan County and Chelan County Fire District 1 partnered and applied for a FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) and received award notification Spring, 2017. The project area of the grant largely consists of the Broadview neighborhood with the goal of replacing wood shake roofs, and creating defensible space around homes. With these goals, Fire District 1 assumed the practitioner role for implementation and built strong relationships in the community. The Community Wildfire Liaison Jon Riley and staff member Hillary Heard have since worked along side residents of the neighborhood to replace 20 wood shake roofs, reduce hazardous vegetation, and dramatically improve the wildfire resilience of the community.

With federal funding assistance through FMAG, goats are being considered as a pilot program for fuel reduction along the Western edge of the Broadview neighborhood. This area of Broadview consists of steep topography and limited access for mechanical thinning; hence, the goats could be put to work to reduce these difficult to mitigate fuels. The herd is tentatively slated for arrival within the first two weeks of July, and we are working to finalize our planning process. Although, this isn't prime season for goats to consume vegetation (spring is); the Fire District has to complete a public outreach process, for the affected parcels, and address any concerns before the release of our 300 hoofed fuels mitigation specialists. The herd will be monitored 24 hours a day by a shepherd and herding dog, contained in a temporary electric fence, and moved along the drainage as they consume vegetation.

Our foothills are cherished, but present significant challenges during fire season. We're excited to investigate new ways of reducing wildfire risk in our community. If you have any questions about the grazing project, or are interested in ways to reduce wildfire risk on your own property, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help.

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