Updated: Oct 28, 2020
It may sound like just another buzzword but "regenerative land management" - and "regenerative agriculture" - are critical movements that aim to restore our precious landscapes to their natural ecosystems before the soil is degraded permanently. The number one priority in regenerative land management is soil health. Soil health affects everything from the vitality of plants and crops, to the wellbeing of animals and humans, to the overall sustainability of our planet. People have been using land for farming, grazing, residential, industrial, commercial, and resource extraction purposes for millennia. Historically land would shift from one use to another and be allowed to revert "back to nature" after heavy disturbances.
However, current land management practices have created a toxic situation where it is estimated one third of the world's top soil is now significantly degraded. In fact, the United Nations is predicting a complete degradation of soil within 60 years if things don't change.
That's where Regenerative Land Management comes in.
Regenerative land management is a method of working with a landscape to restore healthy plant and animal interactions that work together naturally. It's not simply about being less harmful to the environment - it's about actually regenerating the land to drastically improve soil organic matter and restore degraded soil biodiversity, which in turn creates a natural ecosystem that can thrive.
In short, regenerative land management is about letting nature do its thing.
Whether it's agricultural farmlands, acreages, forestry, or public parks - regenerating landscapes involves a number of elements all working in harmony. But one of the key factors is eliminating the use of harmful pesticides to battle noxious weeds, which have been proven to be harmful to the environment, animals, and humans.
Noxious weeds are a major issue for landowners as they can be incredibly aggressive and harmful to the land. However, the use of toxic herbicides has had a major impact on the health of our soil, which then impacts the entire ecosystem it is meant to support.
The use of goats to eliminate weeds is an ideal part of regenerating lands. Goats are very effective at actually getting rid of weeds because they eat the noxious weeds in a way that does allow for reseeding. Plus, as the animals move around the land, managed strategically by the herding team, their hooves break up the soil, compacting inedible plants and allowing nutrients and sunlight to reach new plants - essentially speeding up the building of organic matter by creating a natural mulch. This better equips the soil for germinating healthy seeds. And the goats add fertilizing nutrients to the ground with their manure, further improving water retention and soil quality.
In other words, goats can save the world - one weed at a time.