Sustainable Road Maintenance Options for Brown County, Wisconsin

Author

Abigail Becker

Metrics

The Brown County, Wisconsin Public Works department engaged the University of Oregon Sustainable City Year Program to develop a cost-benefit analysis of roadside maintenance options. This report addresses specific strategies including application of aquatic herbicides, planting low-mow grass, hiring goats to graze ditches, leasing innovative equipment, and using prescribed fire to control invasive species while ideally also reducing annual maintenance costs. In ddition to analysis of the costs of each strategy, this report includes information about the terrestrial invasive species of concern in Brown County (phragmites, wild parsnip, thistle, and poison hemlock) as well as case studies that describe current practices for roadside maintenance in similar counties in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Consideration of each of these elements led to a recommendation to incorporate multiple strategies into roadside maintenance based on andscape factors. Of thestrategies investigated, low-mow grass and goats present the greatest potential for future cost savings while improving the landscape and minimizing risks to human and environmental health.

This project was conducted in partnership with the University of Oregon.

UniverCity Year Contact Info
Gavin Luter
Managing Director
gavin@cows.org
608-261-1141

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