The US Forest Service announced the reopening of the Scotchman Peak Trail. See the entire body of the USFS press release below.
Sandpoint, Idaho (February 12, 2016) –The Scotchman Peak Trail #65 reopens February 12, after having been closed in September 2015 as a precautionary measure against aggressive mountain goats. The goats had been habituated to humans as a result of hikers enticing the goats with food offerings, and were behaving aggressively in an attempt to obtain human foods. In June 2015, a hiker was bitten by a goat and required multiples stitches. Additionally, there were numerous reports of goats attempting to head-butt or charge hikers, which could easily lead to serious injury or death. The temporary closure was intended to allow time for the goats find other sources of food beyond the handouts provided by hikers, and to reduce their willingness to approach humans.
People play an important role in keeping this popular trail open by discouraging goat encounters. Wildlife experts recommend people stay at least 100 feet away from the goats and if goats approach, to yell, wave clothing, and throw rocks from a distance to scare them away. It is bad goat etiquette to feed them and allow them to lick salt off your hands. In order for the Forest Service to keep this trail open so everyone can enjoy the expansive views and frequent mountain goat sightings, people have to practice good goat etiquette and educate others if bad behavior is witnessed.
For hiking and other recreational information, please visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests website at www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf, or contact your local Forest Service Office.