Wausau goat ordinance passes public health and safety committee, moves on to full council

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 1:13 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau’s Public Health and Safety Committee voted Tuesday night to approve a permanent change to a city ordinance that would allow the parks department to have goats within city parks.

Last summer, the Wausau/Marathon County Parks and Recreations Department brought in a herd of goats to combat invasive species on Barker-Stewert Island. The 39 goats stayed on the island for about three weeks, eating mostly invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn plants.

Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Director Jamie Polley told the committee the goats made an impact on the island and they would like to bring them back again this summer. “This is a multi-year thing. Invasive species are very hard to get rid of so it’s something that we’ll have to continue to do.”

Polley explained they while they may not have goats on Barker-Stewart Island every year, making this change to the ordinance permanent would allow the parks department to bring them in when needed and even use them in other city parks. It also allows for public events featuring the goats near the island or on the 400 Block.

The matter will now go before the full city council for final approval.

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