ACHD has placed a herd of goats in the precious riparian area bounded by Ustick, Mountain View and Curtis each of the last several years. Goats abuse what should be a protected riparian area.
The parcel was created by the construction of the Curtis Road extension. Left alone, native grasses burgeoned. The water course became a wonderful habitat for birds and wildlife. I saw a peregrine falcon hunting there last week. I have seen a pair of red-tailed hawks that frequent the area looking for breakfast. Kestrels have nested and reared the next generations there.
Red-wing blackbirds, and an occasional yellow-headed blackbird, love the cattails and nest there. Quail nest there. Flickers, a downy woodpecker, finches, barn and tree swallows, mourning and collared doves, and other species enrich the area.
Goats first consume the native grasses, allowing cheat grass to expand. Goats avoid cheat grass. Goats strip the willows and trample the cattails: classic destruction of a riparian area.
The parcel is smaller but similar to the Hyatt Reserve. But the “Hyatt” is loved. This little parcel is abused. A private citizen would be admonished if she did this to a riparian area. Please, ACHD, protect this treasure.
Alec Andrus, Boise