The City of Oakland is seeking to sign a new contact with a goat grazing company to reduce fire danger in the Oakland hills.
The two and half year contract, signed with a company called EcoSystems Concepts Inc. for $675,575, will supply goats to clear the weeds in the area know as the Wildfire Prevention District.
A previous contract with the company has expired – signed by the Oakland Fire Department with the company in 2010 to reduce “hazardous vegetation fuel loads throughout open space areas, on approximately 1,074 acres of City of Oakland property.
The company says its provides 24-hour supervision with onsite shepherds and “continual veterinary evaluation and care.”
“Goat grazing services are more efficient (because) they are performed in less time than other methods, including hand crews, as more ground is covered with a greater amount of goats than laborers or machinery,” according to a city staff report.
The report says that the average cost of clearing one acre of land to a height of four inches or less is $400-$500 using goat grazing. Crews who work by hand or machinery cost an average of $1,500 per acre.
The city holds public meetings annually prior to the beginning of the goat grazing seasons. This year’s meetings were held in April and May within Joaquin Miller Park and at King Estates.