MISSOULA, Mont. - Starting June 20, sheep are returning to help with noxious weeds on City Open Space in the Missoula area.
Areas on the North Hills and Mount Jumbo will be closed to dogs starting June 20 as around 800 sheep will be grazing on invasive species like dalmatian toadflax, leafy spurge, and spotted knapweed Missoula Parks and Recreation announced.
Hikers without pets are allowed during the dog closure.
“At over 800 head, this by far the largest grazing project the City has ever undertaken,” says Conservation Lands Manager Jeff Gicklhorn. “In the past, we’ve had maybe 100-200 sheep on open space lands. With a herd this large, the potential for injury to both sheep and domestic dogs increases exponentially. No matter how well a dog is trained, his instinct to chase could put both him and the sheep in danger. In addition, livestock guardian dogs are not friendly toward other dogs or humans. They are trained to attack predators and can severely injure or kill a domestic dog.”
Gicklhorn reminds hikers to avoid the sheep and their canine protectors during the dog closures.
You can find information on closures and more on the Missoula Parks and Recreation website here.