Grassy balds in the Great Smoky Mountains, such as Gregory and Andrews, require occasional mowing in order to prevent trees from reclaiming the open meadows. On Roan Mountain, however, they use goats!
For the last three years scientists have been testing the use of goats as a measure for keeping the more than 1000 acres of grassy balds in tact.
Known as the “Baa-tany Goat Project,” the goats are surrounded by a solar-powered electric fence from late June thru early September. The enclosure covers a one-half to one acre plot, and is moved every week or two as the goats deplete the vegetation growth.
As you might assume, the Baa-tany Goat Project requires herders to oversee the goats. Here’s where you can help, while at the same time, enjoy a completely unique camping experience. The Baa-tany Project needs volunteers to help oversee the goats throughout the summer. There are still a handful of weekends available if you would like to lend a hand. Once the weekend schedules are full, they'll begin seeking volunteers for weekday shifts. For more information, please click here.
Below is a video that provides an overview of the project: