Monday, June 3, 2013

6th Annual Herding of the Goats on Roan Mountain

As has been the case over the last several years, goats will once again be used as an experimental management tool to help restore the grassy bald corridors on Roan Mountain's western balds.

The Grassy Balds on Roan Mountain are important habitats for many rare and endemic species such as Gray's Lily, as well as species at or near the southern ends of their ranges. The western balds are thought to be naturally occurring, predating European settlement, however, these ecosystems have declined in quality and quantity in recent years. The Baatany Goat Project's thesis is that use of grazing animals, such as goats, will restore the plant diversity and growth on these balds.

On Wednesday, June 19th, the goats will be herded up to Roan Mountain from Carver's Gap. Project leaders Jamey Donaldson and Todd Eastin will again need volunteers to help herd the goats up to their new home near Jane Bald. Instructions will be provided beforehand, as well as during the walk up to Jane Bald, to handle any stray goats.

The goats will remain on the mountain from mid-June to mid-September, while grazing in movable paddocks along the Appalachian Trail between Jane Bald and the turn off for the trail to Grassy Ridge Bald.

If you'd like to help, please be at Carver's Gap at 8:30 a.m. on June 19th.

Can't make it that day? You can also help by adopting a goat to help fund the program. For more information on the project, please click here.

Photo above by Brenda J. Wiley.

Hiking in the Smokies

1 comment:

Adventure Strong Hiking Blog said...

That sounds like an interesting event. If nothing else I bet you can get some great photos of the goats.