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Livestock to Help with Nevada County’s Wildfire Mitigation Efforts - June 26, 2024

Nevada City, CA – Goats and sheep will soon play a key role in Nevada County’s wildfire mitigation efforts.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $150,000 contract with the Nevada County Resource Conservation District (RCD) to manage the Livestock Fuel Reduction Program from now through Dec. 31, 2025.

Goats behind a wire fence in a wooded area.

Office of Emergency Services Director Craig Griesbach said he has wanted to start this program for a long time as it fits in with the area’s rich ranching heritage and is a great sustainable resource. “There is so much work to be done to meet our wildfire mitigation goals. The use of livestock is a great resource to help us meet these goals and it also supports workforce development, climate resiliency, and our agricultural community at the same time,” he said.

Primary goals and initiatives of this program include:

  • Vegetation treatment on strategic school and publicly owned properties.
  • Community education regarding livestock as a wildfire mitigation resource, youth engagement, climate resilience, and the many benefits of the agricultural industry.
  • Supporting and enhancing the agricultural industry and workforce development.

Supervisor Sue Hoek, who lives and works on a family ranch in Penn Valley that has been in operation since the late 1870s, said she is glad to see the County using livestock in this way. “I love how this strategy supports our hard-working agricultural community,” she said. “By working together, we can reduce wildfire risks.”

Representatives from Nevada County Resource Conservation District are thrilled to be working on the program. “This initiative is not just about reducing hazardous fuels; it’s about fostering community resilience, supporting our local agricultural industry, and educating the next generation on sustainable land management,” said Executive Director Briana Bacon and Program Director Nathan Alcorn in a joint statement. “By tailoring our approach to each property’s unique needs, we aim to create safer, healthier environments for our residents. The benefits of this project extend beyond immediate fire mitigation; it strengthens community ties and promotes long-term ecological health, making Nevada County a safer and more sustainable place to live.”

Residents can learn more about preparing for fire season, wildfire mitigation projects, and resources at

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