Sheep Cleared for Grazing at Some Airports
September 14, 2012
It's a different kind of job interview. Some major airports are interviewing sheep to help them maintain thousands of acres of raw land.
As part of a pilot project, 100 grazing sheep (plus a few goats) are hard at work this week eating invasive plants such as kudzu on property belonging to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
An airport spokesperson says they like the results so far, but need to compare the costs to other weed control measures. It will take several months to crunch the numbers and make a final decision.
Chicago is also taking bids to hire a sheep crew at O'Hare Airport.
Goats have been munching weeds at San Francisco International Airport for at least eight summers.
"They are hired help and used seasonally in an area that is home to two threatened species: the San Francisco garter snake and the red-legged frog," said Michael McCarron, airport spokesman. "The goats are easier to use than heavy equipment and we expect them to be back next year."
In 2008, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hired a herd of goats (and three sheep) to spend 12 days eating wild blackberry bushes, Scotch broom and other weeds around the airport. They said too many cages had to be build to protect the plants they wanted to keep so this option didn't work for them.
Reprinted in part from 9News