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Chewing away the ‘baaaad’ stuff one acre at a time

By Sasha Lenninger

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    PUEBLO OF SANDIA VILLAGE, New Mexico (KOAT) — More than 200 goats are paying a visit to the Sandia Pueblo to help give the land a facelift.

“It’s called targeted goat grazing,” said Max Wade, owner of Galloping Goat Grazing. “We’re targeting tumbleweeds right now because that’s the problem that we’ve got down here.”

The herd is helping mitigate the Bosque area on the pueblo after the Romero Fire ripped through the area, scorching the soil and leaving devastation behind.

“The Pueblo had an unfortunate fire come through the area where we’re standing right now, going on a little over ten years ago,” said Michael Scialdone, the Bosque project manager with the Pueblo of Sandia.

Following the Romero Fire, the land became filled with weeds and other fuels that could help another fire spread.

Instead of using chemicals, the Sandia Pueblo wanted a more sustainable way of helping cures its land and that’s where the goats come into play.

“The idea of using a more natural process to get out here and deal with the weeds and aftermath of this fire was something that was a no-brainer,” Scialdone said. “The pueblo treats its Bosque as a nature reserve, if you will. It’s culturally important to them.”

The goats can quickly mitigate the area.

“The tumbleweeds are pretty dense right now. So we’re averaging about a quarter acre a day,” Wade said.

Goat grazing was not Wade’s original business. It was started as an idea during the pandemic after mass gatherings were banned.

Wade owns Galloping Goat Pumpkin Patch in Rio Rancho and his family came up with the grazing goats idea as a way to make money during COVID-19.

To learn more about Galloping Goat Grazing, click here.

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