Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Sheep Graze Trails for Fire Prevention

Sheep Graze Trails for Fire Prevention

Jul 17, 2018


Sonoma County Regional Parks has recruited some assistance for fire prevention and invasive species removal: sheep. A flock of sheep will spend the next five weeks grazing along the Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail near Sebastopol, removing dry vegetation and non-native plant species.

“Grazing reduces the use of pesticides and need to mow,” said Regional Parks Natural Resources Manager Hattie Brown.“It also helps restore the wetlands to their natural state and keeps the sheep well-fed doing what they instinctively do best.”

Grazing also reduces wildfire risk by clearing excess vegetation, promotes plant viability, and supports local agriculture. Regional Parks uses grazing at several parks, including Helen PutnamTolay LakeTaylor Mountain, and Crane Creek.

For the Laguna, grazing is part of a larger plan to encourage natural resources to flourish on site. The invasive perennial pepperweed and reed canary grass are both found in the Laguna. Through this program, sheep will eat the invasive species, and their presence also will help break up the thatch that accumulates on the soil surface.

“Vegetation buildup is detrimental to many native plants that evolved to thrive in landscapes that had large herds of animals periodically migrating through,” Brown said.  Park Managers hope the grazing program will promote the growth of the critically endangered Sebastopol meadowfoam that grows in the Laguna.

Trail map:

Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail Map

Regional Parks partnered with the city of Santa Rosa, the city of Sebastopol, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space DistrictSonoma County Water Agency, and Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, to bring grazing to the popular trail that connects Highway 12 to Occidental Road, just east of Sebastopol.  The sheep will be in the area through late August, 2018 and the project is supported by the Sonoma Regional Parks Foundation and the Sonoma County Water Agency.

About Sonoma County Regional Parks
The Regional Parks system includes 56 parks, beaches, and trails throughout Sonoma County. Regional Parks’ mission is to create healthy communities and contribute to the county’s economic vitality by acquiring, developing, managing, maintaining parks. Regional Parks preserves natural and cultural resources and offers opportunities for recreation and education that enhance the quality of life and well-being of residents and visitors.


Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

Eco-Friendly Garden Tour

This FREE self-guided tour will be held Saturday, May 4th. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Cloverdale Performing Arts Center - Of Mice and Men

5/4,5,11,12,18,19. Mild adult themes.
Students $12 - Adults $25.
707-894-3222, or at the door if available.

Order Bees Now from BeeKind
Earth Day ON STAGE Courthouse Square April 27, 2019

Your GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.

Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!