Government shutdown halts goat grazing in New York, New Jersey

Wed Oct 2, 2013 5:28pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Who wins in the U.S. government shutdown? Poison ivy plants in New Jersey and New York, for one.

A herd of hired goats under federal contract to eat away at poison ivy and other unwanted vegetation at Gateway National Recreation Area has been sent home under the government shutdown that began on Tuesday.

Larry Cihanek runs "Green Goats," a service that provides more than 50 goats to the National Park Service and others from his farm in Rhinebeck, New York.

With national parks shut down, including Gateway, which encompasses Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, New York, and Sandy Hook National Seashore in New Jersey, Cihanek has had to take his goats home.

He said he typically charges roughly $2,000 to $15,000 per project for use of his goats.

Amid all the teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing about the government shutdown, however, Cihanek said his goats are unruffled.

"They really don't care," he added.

(Reporting by Luke Swiderski; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Andre Grenon)

The U.S. Capitol is photographed behind a chain fence in Washington September 30, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque