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State News at a Glance 01-30-11

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By Associated Press

Goats used as landscapers in Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces has come up with what it thinks is a cheap and environmentally friendly way of clearing weeds and other vegetation – by using a herd of goats. The city has hired 60 four-legged workers to eat all of the tall and growing vegetation in and around a 6 ½ acre storm water drainage pond that is not easily accessible but needs tending.
Las Cruces Public Works Director Mike Johnson tells the Sun-News that using goats instead of equipment is not only eco-friendly but cheap – only costing the city $250 a day. Agriculture officials at New Mexico State University said the goats can eat between 2 to 3 percent of their weight a day and it shouldn’t take the goats long to clear the area.

State park reopens facilities

ALAMOGORDO — Crews have completed repairs and improvements after flooding damaged facilities at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park near Alamogordo. The historic ranch house, the visitor center’s roof, a comfort station and nature trail sustained damage during extensive flooding in 2006 and 2008 but park manager Wendy Justice said all facilities are open again. The roof of the ranch house was rebuilt for $91,703, with new decking, underlayment, gutters and downspouts. State Parks officials said the restoration will withstand future monsoons while retaining the building’s historic appearance.
Crews also built drainage structures around the house to divert water.
– The Associated Press