NEVADA CITY, Calif. (AP) — The threat of catastrophic wildfires has driven a Northern California town to launch a "Goat Fund Me" campaign to bring herds of goats to city-owned land to help clear brush.

“Paradise is a very similar situation being surrounded by a drying forest," said Nevada City Vice Mayor Reinette Senum. "It's very combustible so we really saw this as a cautionary tale."

Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada began the online crowdsourcing campaign last month with the goal of raising $30,000 for the project. As of 5:40 p.m. on Jan. 13 the campaign had raised $12,680. 

In the "goat fund me" the campaign explains that, because it takes time to secure grant funding, the town needs money now to hire local goat ranchers because they are only available this winter.

City officials say the ranchers have already rented out their herds to other municipalities the rest of the year.

Senum told the Los Angeles Times the town's 450 acres of greenbelt makes it especially vulnerable to fires. She said, "if we don't help ourselves, no one else is going to step up."

“It's a really healthy way to reduce vegetation without destroying the landscape with either big equipment or herbicides and chemicals and whatnot,” added Rob Thompson, owner of Legacy Ranching.


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