Mountain Goats Credit: DoI, Jeff Ladderud
CLARK FORK, Idaho - Don’t feed the goats! That’s the message from the United States Forest Service. The USFS reopened the Scotchman Peak Trail in the Kaniksu National Forest but with a warning to hikers. The trail has been closed since September 2015 due to 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.” Said a U.S. Forest Service press release. The goats were reportedly headbutting and charging hikers in hopes of getting food. “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.”
The Forest Service is reminding the public to stay at least 100 feet away from the goats and “it is bad goat etiquette” to allow them to lick salt off your hands. The agency says to keep the trail open so everyone can enjoy the expansive views and frequent mountain goat sightings, people have to practice good goat etiquette and educate and encourage others to do the same if bad behavior is witnessed. If a goat approaches you the forest service recommends yelling, waving clothing and throwing rocks from a distance to scare them away. Scotchman Peak Trail leads to the 7,009-foot summit of Bonner County’s tallest mountain.
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