I’ve always been an advocate of using animals to manage vegetation. In this morning’s NY Times: In Tennessee, Goats Eat the â€˜Vine That Ate the Southâ€™
Chattanoogaâ€™s goats have become unofficial city mascots since the Public Works Department decided last year to let them roam a city-owned section of the ridge to nibble the kudzu, the fast-growing vine that throttles the Southern landscape.
The Missionary Ridge goats and the projectâ€™s tragicomic turns have created headlines, inspired a folk ballad and invoked more than their share of goat-themed chuckles.
â€œUsually, in dealing with this, youâ€™ve got to get people past the laugh factor,â€ said Jerry Jeansonne, a city forestry inspector and the programâ€™s self-described â€œgoat dude.â€
Despite the humorous overtones to the cityâ€™s methods, the program represents an environmentally friendly effort to grapple with a real problem in Chattanooga and the South.