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STUPID! I love the La Sals and was very happy to see them put goats there... Perfect "ecosystem" for them! Anyone spotted them on peal from the fourm yet?
 

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There were bighorn sheep there pre white man so how can the FS have a research area without a complete ecosystem. Goats fill virtually the same niche. I don't get the big deal. **** hippies
 

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the same junk has gone on it the Uintas. I am sure there is still a group of people trying to get them out of there as well.
 

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Last year I saw a single female goat on Mt. Peale. This was during the muzzy deer hunt. We saw many goats on the Miners basin side and I must say that I changed from OIL moose to goats just for the chance to hunt them on the LaSals if and when the DWR opens a hunt.
 

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I saw a nice billy on top of Beaver Basin last fall. Fun seeing them there. Either way, the goats will remain at the tops grazing like they do...

I doubt they'll go anywhere!
 

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The only reason the DWR is planting goats all over is because they can't make anything else work. And that was only after goats across the West started to disperse on their own in a very serious way. I love Goats but they don't belong in the La Sals or several other places they are showing up. They bully mule deer and bighorns off of water, and they are disease vectors as well. Like I said, they have their place.
 

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The only reason the DWR is planting goats all over is because they can't make anything else work. And that was only after goats across the West started to disperse on their own in a very serious way. I love Goats but they don't belong in the La Sals or several other places they are showing up. They bully mule deer and bighorns off of water, and they are disease vectors as well. Like I said, they have their place.
There were really two options sheep or goats. From what I am reading, they decided not to put Bighorns in there because of the domestic sheep. It doesn't seem like they tried anything else.

I hate to say it, but the environmentalists have a case.

When you place an animal in an area where it is not originally intended to be, it will take it time to adapt. The adaptation could be good or bad for the ecosystem.

The Issue is that what we will potentially lose (Flora) against what we will potentially gain (Hunt-able Goat Population).

Potential Loss vs Potential Gain

Right now, both sides are looking into their crystal ball to try and see the outcome.
 

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So do mtn sheep and mtn goats do different things on the landscape?
Very different things. Bighorns retreat much further down the mountain in the winter time, therefor utilizing different plants at different times of the year compared to Mtn Goats. Also Mtn Goats will just camp out on a area for much longer periods of time than sheep. They also occupy higher and rockier areas than sheep, and this is where I see the habitat degradation. They(goats) will eat every shred of vegetation from the rocks in these alpine environments. The more alpine and dry the environment, the more fragile it is, and therefor the more damage that goats can inflict. Goats also have a nasty tenancy of kicking out huge dust beds, in these same fragile environments.

The bigger issue here is that this is not like degrading mule deer winter range. For one, that is easier to fix(winter range), and secondly these are summer ranges for more than just the goats. The problem with degrading summer ranges, especially alpine ones that are slow to recovery. Is that summer ranges grow animals, where as winter ranges just maintain them. In the Southern extents of Mtn Goat ranges, like here in Utah, the alpine enviroments are much drier than they are in the North extend of their ranges. This means that these alpine enviroments grow slower, recover slower, and can not support the same number of goats as places North of here with higher rainfall.

In 2008 goat counts fell sharply. It was thought that they were declining. It turned out that they had dropped elevation and were dispersing broadly. This happened EVERYWHERE in the West. Goats showed up in the Windrivers, Tetons, and places in CO where they had never been seen before. We see the same thing happen with antelope. Utah's response was to run with it, and augment the dispersals, along with creating new herds through transplants. Why? Because besides elk and goats, the division has King Midas in reverse syndrome.

We have some places for goats here in Utah, but its very limited.
 
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