United States: a shepherdess puts goats in fashion to fight fires

USA: Shepherdess brings goats back into fashion to fight against fires

With her son, Lani Malmberg leads her herd of goats throughout the western United States, clearing fragile wooded areas at the request of local authorities or landowners. The success is such that she launched her foundation to train other herd guides.

She promotes a weapon that others have used before her but little publicized: herds of goats. For several years, Lani Malmberg, 64, has been wandering around the western United States, from California to Colorado, her hundreds of goats and installing them at the request of local authorities in the woods and undergrowth so that they maintain the grounds by grazing.

At a time when fires are eating away at California and Spain, not to mention Var and Aveyron in France, Lani Malmberg is regularly interviewed. He is asked how goats can prevent fires from starting? How many goats do you need per hectare and for how long to be effective? The case fascinates reference newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Cut more efficiently

Lani Malmberg explains that goats eat anything that would fuel future fires: bushes, shrubs, and the like grow very dry. Their small size and agility allow them to reach the unreachable and to clear brush more effectively than any human being. Finally, the ultimate asset: their droppings feed the soil, provide it with nutrients, moisten it and increase its ability to retain water.

"They are particularly intelligent beings, she told the Washington Post. A goat will never trample a bird's nest on the ground, nor eat shoots that are too green. And above all, they consume very little water." Knowing that they are effective not only to prevent the fire from taking hold but also after the fires, to help the vegetation to resume.

All this is known but has been lost over time, hence the success of Lani Malmberg's approach. Such success that she created the Goatapelli Foundation to train herders to guide goats through vulnerable forested areas. She has already trained more than 200 people who have in turn created their herd. "Because there is an emergency, explains the shepherdess, because of global warming, the fires are more and more violent from year to year, and it is our habitat that is at stake, it is time to ask ourselves what value it is given." To preserve it, Lani Malmberg therefore offers neither machines nor sophisticated technology, but goats, and more broadly to reconnect with the earth, the living.

toggenburg goat,How well do you know about its habits?