Season Of The Goat: Episode 1

Posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 by »
GoatPearingOverRock-972

With our first couple of weeks of the Trail Ambassador Program underway, things are looking good for the goats of Scotchman Peaks! Now, hopefully they will remain that way as we move into a busy summer season.

After the first couple weeks of sending trail ambassadors up Scotchman Peak to gather information and educate the public on mountain goats, the results have been very good. As of now we have no reports of people interacting with the mountain goats. Although few of the goats have been a little stubborn when it comes to getting off the trail, overall it seems that people have started to realize the potential dangers in interacting with them. The biggest issue we have seen this far is the definition of “safe distance” from the goats. After asking if goats were approaching people the response has often been “ No, they are staying 12 feet away”.  Well, 12 feet isn’t exactly a safe distance. We’re looking for more around the 50 to 150 feet if possible.

Just the other day I was on the trail and 9 mountain goats where playing around on the rocks. 3 mothers, 3 babies, and 3 two year olds scampered around the peaks looking for food. Of those 9, only one momma was reluctant to move away from me as I approached on the trail.  After a series of shooing it away and a couple rocks thrown at her feet, she retreated for higher ground showing natural mountain goat behavior.

While hiking the trail our ambassadors have reported nothing but good feedback on the response from the public. People really seem to care and want to help the mountain goats, as well as learn more about them. Most everyone understands that they are wild animals and should be left alone, even if that means shooing the mountain goat away from them. If this keeps up, then it looks like the future of the Scotchman Peak mountain goats is very bright.

If you have any questions about the mountain goats or experiences you would like to share, email jay@scotchmanpeaks.org. Thank you so much and happy hiking!

 

 

 

About The Author:

Mary Franzel can be found roaming the Lightning Creek area most nice days and spends her summers as FSPW's Mountain Goat Education Coordinator.

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