Goat grazin’

Whiskeytown’s stinky visitors

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area welcomed a few seasonal visitors recently, when it began using goats in early June to help restore the cultural landscape of the Tower House Historic District located along Highway 299, as well as to eliminate nonnative weeds and flammable vegetation near buildings, according to a National Park Service press release.

The area has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973 for its association with Gold Rush-era settlement in California. During that time, the native vegetation was manipulated by settlers, and since then, nonnative plants have invaded the region.

After they’ve munched away in the Tower House district, the goats will be moved to the park’s headquarters complex along John F. Kennedy Memorial Drive and the National Environmental Education Development Camp on Paige Bar Road to do further strategic grazing. They are expected to graze about 60 acres over a four-week period. Portions of the park and some trails will be temporarily closed to contain the herd, and visitors are advised to keep their distance from the animals.