Noxious Plants

Livestock can be a useful tool in managing noxious weeds with consideration to the following: 1) target plants must be acceptable as forage, 2) grazing should be timed to inflict damage during a vulnerable time of the weed's life cycle, 3) livestock are controlled to minimize damage to non-target species and other ecosystem component, 4) adequate water

Weed Management

Annual Grasses – Several annual grasses are devastating to rangelands in California. While some provide valuable forage, grasses like medusahead crowd out perennial grasses and create fine fuels that can promote wildfires.

Forbs / Broadleaf weeds – many of these weeds were brought into the North American from other continents. When grazed at the right stage of growth these weeds can provide nutritious forage to sheep and goats, in turn, which help in the weeds’ control.

Woody Shrubs - both sheep and goats will remove woody shrubs and bushes such as blackberries.  Invasive woody shrubs provide fuel for wildfires and can reduce useable pasture or open space. Depending on the stage of the woody plants a combination of both species may be the prescription for removal.

Below is a list of some of the invasive plant species that are found in California and have been controlled with the use of targeted grazing. This is not a complete list, and we will continue to add additional information and links, please check back to this page fro updated information.

Invasive Grasses:

Cheatgrass or Downy Brome
Medusahead

Invasive Forb/Broadleaf plants:

Yellow Starthistle
Spotted Knapweed
Diffuse Knapweed
Leafy Spurge
Bull Thistle

Invasive Woody Shrubs:

Blackbserries
Multiflora Rosa
Juniper
Saltcedar