For the past 15 years, Craig Madsen, shepherd and owner of Healing Hooves, and his herd of about 200 goats have helped with vegetation management on some of the steepest slopes in Issaquah Highlands. Based in Edwall, Wash., Healing Hooves is contracted by the Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA). Each summer, residents eagerly await the arrival of Shepherd Craig and his hooved and horned landscape crew.
In this “Five Questions” interview, Craig talks about how the community has changed over the past 15 years, what makes working in Issaquah Highlands unique, and the challenges of working with goats in an urban village setting. (Remember the “Great Goat Escape of 2019“?)
Craig credits IHCA Landscape Manager Lyle Dickey and his team for making it possible to move the goats smoothly from site to site in the community each summer.
The goats are currently working in the Magnolia Park neighborhood, their last site in the community this summer. Click here to review tips for safely visiting the goats and for a map of their location. Note: it’s more challenging to see the goats at this site since much of the work is behind homes.
- Do not feed the goats.
- Do not approach the working dogs without permission.
- Leave your own dogs at home.
- Stay back from the electric fencing.
Vicki Grunewald is the Highlands Council media editor and a Harrison Street resident.