Who Helps Keep Sea Ranch Fire-Safe? …Just a Few of their Woolly Faces.

I’m Baaaaack!  It’s been a while since my last post, due to a lingering flu-turned-bronchitis.  While I was recuperating our local sheep flock passed through our meadow.  These little guys (and ewes), along with some goats, are part of two flocks of sheep that patrol Sea Ranch commons as part of our local Fuel Load Management Program.   Both these flocks are controlled by the sheep-herder who owns the flocks, and they occupy the Ranch year round. 

Basically these sheep (about 350 per flock) are fenced in a meadow or hillside area for a few days using portable fencing and allowed to graze and browse on the local grasses and woody vegetation.  The purpose is to control the amount of burnable material (fuel) in order to reduce the amount of fuel available in case of a fire.  The idea being, that by reducing the fuel load, the progress of a fire is slowed enough to allow our local fire crews to get ahead of the fire and control it. 

Using grazing as a means of fuel load management costs about a third of using mowers, and the sheep are considerably more selective and less destructive than mowing.  In addition, the sheep add fertilizer to the meadows and promote a more healthy and diverse meadow, and one in which fuel is better managed.  It’s also just plain fun to watch these little guys at work…they’re a real local attraction.  So I thought I’d capture just a few of these hard workers doing what they do.  You can also follow these guys on their own website:  TheSeaRanchSheep.com.  No Facebook page yet, I guess they’re too busy for that.

Equipment: Nikon D3s, Nikkor 70-200 mm Lens

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