How to control invasive gorse on Oregon beaches and parkland.

Asked March 24, 2017, 1:32 PM EDT

I know that gorse is invading and destroying the recreational values of large swaths of the central Oregon coast, particularly near Bandon. I also know that goats are incredibly successful of ridding land of unwanted plant species, especially blackberries. Could a herd of goats be employed to eat back the gorse on the beaches? If so, it would seem to be a low-impact environmentally friendly way to address the problem, and perhaps an opportunity to initiate a modest goat industry on the coast. Questions: Do goats eat gorse? Can they control it as effectively as they do blackberries? Is that at all a practical idea? Appreciate any advice you could give.

Jackson County Oregon weed issues goats

1 Response

Hi -- kudos to you for taking invasive weeds seriously and wanting to control them. Yes, goats can be used to control gorse. I found several web sites with info that can give more info and they are listed below. One references Dr. An Peischel who used to own and operate a large-scale commercial goat browsing operation in California. You can communicate with her via her web site, www.goatsunlimited.com. Due to water quality issues, siting livestock on beaches may need to be approved by some local, county, or state authority (DOE?).

Here are resources you may find helpful:

http://www.marinrcd.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/MRCD_Use-of-Goats-in-the-Control-of-Gorse.pdf

https://www.grassland.org.nz/publications/nzgrassland_publication_1218.pdf

one farm’s experience: http://permaculturenews.org/2010/12/02/managing-gorse-ulex-europeaus-a-permaculture-approach/

http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/weeddetails.pl?taxon_id=7693#

http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/weeds/weeds-index/weeds-index-declared-weeds/gorse/gorse-control-guide

https://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10182/268/aeru_rr_149.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y