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Jun 14

Sheep herd moving to Mt. Jumbo on June 17 - please leash your dog!

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM by Becky Goodrich

Did you know that sheep have a taste for noxious weeds?  Sheep grazing is an economical, chemical-free way to manage weeds on open space—as long as the herd can be protected from off-leash dogs. 

Conservation Lands Manager Morgan Valliant says using grazing sheep to control weeds is a good deal for open space users. “The alternative to grazing is herbicides. The sheep help us manage weeds on over 1000 acres without using chemicals. We’re asking for the public’s help in this very narrow time frame (three to four weeks) to control their dogs and let the sheep herd do its work.”

The herd has been munching noxious weeds on the North Hills for the last few weeks and will be moved to the south face of Mount Jumbo on Monday, June 17.  Pet owners are reminded: Leash your dog when hiking near the sheep. Even the nicest dog may chase, injure or even kill a sheep before you can stop him. And don't forget, the sheep herd is protected by guard dogs, and your dog risks injury if he threatens the herd.

Please report any violations of animal regulations to City-County Animal Control at 541-7387. If Animal Control officers are unavailable, please note the date, time, location and parties involved in any incident involving dogs on open space and report to Missoula Parks and Recreation at 552-6277. Courts can levy fines up to $275 for a “dog at large” citation, and restitution can include all veterinary and transportation expenses and the replacement value of the sheep.

Thanks for doing your part to care for City Open Space, and enjoy your hike!