Sears Rd. goats to get signs: Slow down


It started 20 years ago. No one knows where they came from but there's a theory that perhaps a farm on the east side of the gravel pit on Sears Rd. had a few escapees. No matter their origin, the goats at the gravel pit have sparked curiousity and complaint. Now, Tina Fornoff is hoping to put up signs in the area to warn people that the goats are present and to slow down to avoid injuring them.

"In 2008, 'One Horn' was pregnant," she said of the current group's heritage. But unfortunately for One Horn, a local cougar made a meal of her, sparing her baby.

"That's Black Betty and she's now the oldest living goat at the pit," Fornoff said.

The owner of the gravel pit allows the goats to live there but no one is sure of where the original goats came from.

They've been known to steal tools and lunches and a handful of years ago, a farmer donated a female to the herd.

Currently, there are five wild goats living at the gravel pit including Black Betty.

A customer from Creswell, according to Fornoff, donated a male goat named Stinky to the pit. However, Stinky and the two youngest kids were taken from the pit.

"We don't know who did it. There's someone who says they know where Stinky is, tied to a tree in the yard but we haven't found him," Fornoff said.

Fornoff, who lives in Yoncalla and owns and operates a dump truck which hauls gravel from the pit, began sharing the story of the gravel pit goats on Facebook, letting local residents know they were present at the gravel pit after some near misses with cars and the goats.

Fornoff started a petition to get signs for the area, earning 320 signatures in just 10 days.

"The goats are kind of a staple," she said. "In doing the petition, we had stories about the goats from people in different areas, one story from Hawaii, with truck drivers coming into the area."

Fornoff had planned to submit the petition to the city of Cottage Grove to request funding but announced she would fund the signs on her own.

"People say put a fence up," Fornoff said. "But the pasture is owned by someone who took the goats for awhile two years ago and they escaped back to the pit so a fence isn't going to help."

Currently, the goats don't travel near the road at night and survive off what they find as well as apples and tomatoes Fornoff supplies and wild blackberries.

"That's why they're in the street," she said. "They want the blackberries."

50 gallon troughs dot the property as well to ensure the goats have enough drinking water.

"I want the signs just so people will be aware and slow down," Fornoff said.

The gravel pit goat family welcomed a new litter of goats earlier this year, prompting Fornoff to share photos of the goats, including the new members of the heard, on social media.

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