SHA: Still Hyping Animals?
You can milk a goat and you can milk a sheep, but milking a turtle?
The State Highway Administration is going for all three Thursday as it tries to extract just a little more cute coverage out of its use of goats and sheep to control vegetation around the habitat of those preciously imperiled bog turtles near the site of the Hampden Bypass in Carroll County.
Those clever folks in the SHA's press office -- actually one of the best public information offices in state government -- are pinning their hopes for more ultra-positive, warm and fuzzy publicity on an event at which fourth graders will help name the sheep and goats at the site.
It was just a year ago when the highway agency managed to get a highly favorable Page One story out of The Sun -- and this reporter -- despite weather you wouldn't wish on a sheep or a goat (the bog turtles probably loved it). A little later last year, they got more heartwarming coverage out of a story about preserving chestnut trees in the same neighborhood,
Even jaded journalists had to admit the idea of using goats to protect turtles from the ravages of lawn-cutting machinery was innovative. And protecting the American chestnut is a worthy endeavor and quite interesting to readers who care about trees.
But enough is enough, SHA folks. There's only so much cheese you can make from this goat story. I'm sure the fourth-graders are even cuter than the sheep, goats and turtles, but there's only so much magnetism a highway agency can get out of its animals.
This time around, your goat-to guy will save on gas instead of going to Hampstead. The state highway folks get only one bite out of this lamb chop. They need a new species to save.
But if they'll send us the names of the sheep and goats, we'll post them here. We'll even include the reptiles if they get names. They can be our blog turtles.
Sun photo/Karl Ferron