Press Release
May 2, 2013

Graniterock Goats Work Old-fashioned Wonders

Use of Goats Eradicates Non-Native Species and Enhances Endangered Frog Habitat

Santa Cruz, CA—Graniterock has recently welcomed a herd of goats and their young, along with their guard dog and her puppies “in training,” at the Company’s Santa Cruz Sand Plant. The goats are being used as a holistic management technique to decrease the amount of non-native annual grasses in the area, and to create enhanced habitat for the endangered California Red-Legged Frog. Graniterock is exploring innovative tools, such as prescribed grazing, to reclaim mined land and decrease the amount of equipment and herbicides necessary for weed management.

The Grazing Handbook from the State Coastal Conservency and Sotoyome Resource Conservation District discusses multiple factors involved in the decision to graze including the impact animals have, the type of animal needed for the project, grazing period, the area and how many animals will be needed. These factors were discussed before the project to determine the right mix of goats, the appropriate weather and weather pattern and predict the spring forecast plant growth. The timing has to be just right so that the targeted annual grasses are grazed before they can produce and spread viable seed.

The goats are not only used as a weed management technique but as a tool for habitat enhancement for endangered species. Last Fall at the Sand Plant, the goats were used in tule grass removal project to enhance ponds used as breeding and foraging habitat for the endangered California Red-Legged Frog.

For Graniterock, the grazing projects represent a cost-effective, minimum-impact approach to mine land rehabilitation. The goal was to not rely on machinery, equipment, or herbicides for effective weed management but to find a natural approach to control weeds and enhance the landscape. Graniterock is a responsible steward of the land committed to successful long-term land rehabilitation, management, and endangered species protection.

Graniterock has been headquartered in Watsonville, California, since its founding in 1900. The Company’s employees work in branch locations in South San Francisco, Redwood City, San Jose, Salinas, Monterey, Oakland, Watsonville, Felton, Cupertino, and Santa Cruz. Graniterock supplies construction materials including ready-mix concrete, hot mix asphalt, building materials, landscaping supplies, rock, sand and gravel. The Company’s Pavex Construction Division is a significant regional heavy engineering contractor building roadways, airports and private commercial and residential projects. Graniterock received the 1992 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the 1994 Governor’s Golden State Quality Award.

For more information, contact:
Keith Severson, 831.768.2063
Alex Simons, 831.768.2127