Season of the Goat: Round 2 Episode 1

Posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 by »

This is the second year of a collaboration between FSPW and the Idaho Panhandle National Forests on a mountain goat education program for Scotchman Peak Trail #65 in the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. For more information on the program or leaving mountain goats wild, click here.

We’ve had 2 weekends of Goat Ambassadors hiking the Scotchman Peaks trail this season. There still is a bit of snow in the trees near the top – but fairly open once one hits the rocks.

The first weekend was tackled by one seasoned volunteer & a first timer. Both had a great time but not very many folks were braving the weather & snow. This past weekend was the “Shhhhh” weekend. Through no coordination between the volunteers, they both were librarians.  Both provided extremely detailed, descriptive & informative reports. Despite Saturday being nicer weather, there were almost  twice as many hikers on the trail on Sunday.  No matter how hard I try I can never guess which days will be most popular. The ambassadors handed out quite a few maps, which were greatly appreciated.

This is the time of year to enjoy many wildflowers along with wildlife on the trail. A doe with a fawn, lots of bunnies & a begging squirrel, a bear (no problems with the bear reported) and a moose have been sighted. There have been approximately 3 goats at the top – they have responded well to “light” hazing – meaning yelling/clapping kept them at a reasonable distance. It seems hikers are becoming more aware of the dangers with close encounters with wildlife – that’s a good thing!

A little trail info: the creek crossing at the trailhead is very low but there still is water. Cars have been driving across it with no problem. There still are a few feet of snow between the meadow & the tree line.

If anyone would like to know more about the Goat Education Program or be an Ambassador (it’s really easy & a fun way to share your love for the outdoors and meet cool people!) please email Mary@scotchmanpeaks.org.

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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