After a few weeks of work 240 contract helpers will be leaving the Port of Seattle this week headed back to Eastern Washington. The helpers are not your typical employee, however, as they are goats. Sea-Tac Airport brought in the goats for the second straight year to help clear some brush just off the airport property.
“We’re using the goats instead of using equipment,” Craig Madsen with Healing Hooves said. “Some of these areas you can use equipment on. Some of them it’s a little tougher, softer soil, downed trees, so the goats can get into those sites easier than you can do with equipment.”
Madsen and his team of goats have been working all over Western Washington in recent months at a variety of colleges and homeowner associations, as well as assisting the team at the Bainbridge Island Parks Department.
“They [goats] are very agile, they love to climb, and they work well in a steep slopes or sites that are difficult to access. They work very well in clearing vegetation,” Madsen said.
The goats focused on an area owned by the Port of Seattle, just off the grounds of the Sea-Tac Airport. The Airport knows they need to make sure that land stays in good shape.
“This is an area fairly close to the airport. It’s an area that’s not being used right now, but as you can see with the airport growing as it is we’re going to be using it at some point in time so it’s important to keep it under control in this area so these blackberries just don’t get out of control so mitigation efforts like this now help for future projects,” Sea-Tac Airport’s Brian Deroy said.
This latest effort by the airport is their latest attempt to continue to be a nationwide leader when it comes to sustainability.
“Just this past year we received salmon safe for our water efforts, we’ve also received accreditation for our carbon efforts at the airport. Something that only a few other airports received,” Deroy said. “So when it comes to sustainability we are nationwide leaders in this.”