WALLA WALLA — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has “hired” an unusual group to remove weeds and vegetation on levees bordering Mill Creek Diversion Dam.

A herd of goats arrived Friday, June 15, with Lostine, Ore.-based Northwest Goat Grazers shepherds to set up fencing and unleash the goats on the levee.

The organization is being paid $10,000.

Goats will be in the Rooks Park area above the dam, initially, and are expected to eat invasive reed canary grass around the debris barrier upstream of the dam.

The goats will be contained within electric fencing, accompanied by professional herding dogs and shepherds, officials said.

Once the forebay area is completed, the goats will work their way downstream on the paved side of the creek, then upstream along the levee on the gravel side of the creek.

Hikers and park visitors are required to keep pets on leashes, officials said.

The grazing project is expected to last about four weeks, officials said.

Goat grazing is necessary to allow U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff to safely inspect portions of the levee later this year during periods of flood risk.

The area remains open to the public.

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