She’s one of 200 goats and sheep who arrived in Half Moon Bay on Tuesday for a two-week visit.
She's not on vacation, though.
This sheep has a job to do, and it’s to feed on every piece of unwanted thistle and other invasive plants on the Railroad-Right-of-Way (RRoW) conservation easement at Railroad Avenue and Poplar Street in Half Moon Bay.
Tullie and the rest of the herd will slowly be making their way north to Railroad and Kelly avenues, munching on vegetation along the way.
The weed-eating restoration effort is headed up Coastside Land Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the open space environment, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo County coast.
The goal of the restoration project is to reduce fire risk by minimizing fuel and offering an alternative to loud, polluting machinery.
The goats and sheep were hired from Goats R Us, at a reduced rate of $2,500 because the goats were already hired on county property. The animals are managed 24 hours a day by a herder/rancher named Ronald from Peru who lives on site with three sheep herding dogs in a self-containing caravan.
“The benefit of having goats and sheep is that they feed on different vegetation and having this variety allows more of the total vegetation to be grazed,” said Lindsey Peterson of Coastside Land Trust.
Plans for the future include hiring a team of goats and sheep on an annual basis, as grazing over consecutive years will allow for native grasses to outcompete their invasive counterparts.
“With annual grazing, this herd of goats and sheep can act as a cost effective long-term biological control for maintaining a healthy open space,” said Eric Rutledge of the Coastside Land Trust.
Coastsiders are welcome to visit the fluffy little workers as they slowly move north along the RRoW.
“The excitement and support Coastside Land Trust has received on behalf of the herd has been overwhelming,” said Rugledge. “This large-scale restoration event would not be possible without the generous individuals who have donated water from their taps to keep the herd hydrated. This truly is a community effort.”