Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Mountain Goats relocated from ONP show up at Rattlesnake Ledge
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Bernardo
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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 4:53 pm 
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I was thinking a few blocks of salt along the I-90 corridor and other areas in the cascades would lesson people goat interactions.
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treeswarper
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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 5:08 pm 
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A slingshot and a few of these
Slingshottable Salt

That way you get a random placement of salt instead of one of the cow sized blocks  that are heavy and plopped down where handy.

When I was preschool aged, the grocery stores in E. Wenatchee would have salt blocks stacked in an aisle.  I do not know why.  Being a disgusting little munchkin, I would lick them a few times.  Yuck.

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Randito
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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 6:24 pm 
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I read up more on the people/goat problems in ONP.  Seems the Olympics lack natural salt deposits , whereas the Cascades do have natural salt deposits that the goats can utilize.

So the drive by goats in ONP to "stalk" people for their urine is a bit more intense.
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contour5
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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 10:44 pm 
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Well, I guess I got my hopes up, when the little man in the KIRO video said it was all about the salt. [deleted unhinged rant about television]

I still don't quite get the thing about the vegetation. Do the goats dine exclusively on endemic endangered species? Don't the deer have a similar, if not identical impact on the botanicals? Will we subject the entire ungulate population to extraordinary rendition? Then what about the cougars? With no more ungulates to prey upon, who becomes the likely target?

[insert Far Side cartoon]

The more we interfere- the more problems we create. We could have solved this with a few blocks of salt.
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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 11:04 pm 
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No, the goats do not dine exclusively on endemic species of flora. There are, however, a few plants which are exclusive to the upper alpine areas of the Olympics.
The Park is charged, by Congressional mandate, to "preserve and protect" those unique native species of both flora and fauna, and leaving the goats to their own devices does not allow them the ability to achieve that management objective.
Blacktail deer don't generally forage at those high altitudes, and have different browsing habits than goats. They also do not have the propensity for ripping up the ground with their hooves.

As I noted above, there have been people urging the removal of the goats for over 50 years. This is not a new issue. The Park has dragged its heels on addressing the issue because they don't want to offend the animal rights whackos. Further complicating the issue were those delusional individuals who insisted (based on erroneous anecdotal "evidence") that the goats were native to the Olympic Peninsula.

There was an extensive study done which provided irrefutable evidence that the goats are not, and never were, indigenous to the Olympic Peninsula. They were dropped in there by a group of hunters/sportsmen (about 1929, as I recall.) (I haven't read the documents for several years so my date may be off a year or two there.)

The death of Mr. Boardman brought the issue to the forefront and probably provided some more impetus for the Park to do something about the issue.

As to the cougars: they will find plenty to eat. The Olympics host huge populations of snowshoe hares and Roosevelt elk. The cougar will manage just fine without the goats.

As for the goats in the Cascades, that's a different matter. I'm sure they'll manage just fine, and those weird little sedge grasses the goats were trampling in the Olympics don't grow anywhere near Rattlesnake Ledge.

contour5 wrote:
We could have solved this with a few blocks of salt.

The issues on the Olympic Peninsula had nothing to do with salt. It was about protecting some endemic species of flora that the goats were destroying, and the fact that they are not an indigenous species on the Olympic Peninsula.

The National Park Service is spending millions of dollars on programs to eradicate non-indigenous species from their units, like Cirsium arvense, Digitalis purpurea, Rubus discolor, Rubus laciniatus, Hypericum perforatum, ad nauseam. Goats are just another non-indigenous species in that part of the world.

Mountain Goats in Olympic National Park: Biology and Management of an Introduced Species

(* sorry I cannot cite the earlier papers - they're not coming up with a Google search and my copies are in one of several dead computers which are sitting next to me here.)

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RodF
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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 11:16 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
catsp wrote:
would require Congressional action

I believe that goat hunting could be authorized by the  secretary of the interior without Congressional approval.  Hunting is allowed in a number of national parks.

Not in Olympic NP.  It all depends on the establishment legislation of the particular Park area.  Only Congress can pass or amend statutory law, not the Administration.

Olympic NP's establishment legislation 16 USC §256b reads “All hunting or the killing, wounding, or capturing at any time of any wild bird or animal, except dangerous animals when it is necessary to prevent them from destroying human lives or inflicting personal injury, is prohibited within the limits of the park"

Of the 400+ areas managed by NPS, fewer than two dozen have such an explicit statutory prohibition on hunting, while 75 have statutes explicitly allowing hunting.  In the remaining ~300 having no explicit statutory provision, NPS could allow hunting through the normal regulatory rulemaking process, but chooses not to.

The irony of the Mountain Goat Management Plan is that it clearly ignores this prohibition on capturing or killing wild goats.  Further, page 54 of the final plan details how the Park will recruit "skilled public volunteers" to shoot the remaining goats.  They must "Pack out as much meat as safely possible" and may pack out trophies.  Sounds like hunting, eh?

So NPS cites the law when convenient, and ignores it when inconvenient.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Oct 21, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Oh the irony.  Maybe many of our forebears arrived in Washington prior to 1929, but if you want to be a stickler about non native species, most of us are going to have to leave.  rolleyes.gif
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Randito
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 6:54 am 
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RodF wrote:
So NPS cites the law when convenient, and ignores it when inconvenient.

Thanks for the detailed information.  It sure seems like the plan was developed by a large committee.
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Token Civilian
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 8:53 am 
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In any event, the relocated goats are now subject to hunting.

They'll develop the appropriate level of wariness around humans at the appropriate times of the year...or end up filling a hunter tag.  This is no different that Cali NP Bears vs bears everywhere else - Yogi is fearless in the Yosemite for example....and very wary up on Glacier Peak.

As for ONP, the law banning hunting, and the Congress critters.....this is one of those head shaking moments for me.  I would HOPE that the Demmican's and Republicats could get together on this one and agree that:

1)  Goats in ONP are not a good thing.
2)  Goats must be removed from ONP.
3)  With massive budget deficits for the last 2 decades under both Republicat and Demmican administrations and Congresses, finding the lowest cost way to implement (2) consistent with the spirit of the Wilderness Act (minimizing chopper flights) and principals of managing National Parks should be a high priority.
4)  Agree to pass legislation to the effect of, and get the President to sign, a time and condition limited exemption to the ban on hunting in ONP  (e.g authorize hunting for up to some number of years, for goats only, or until said goats are eradicated to a level as specified in the management plan).
5)  Collect some fat fees for the supplemental ONP hunting permit to offset administrative costs, from the hunters lucky enough to draw a tag issued by WDFW.  (Posted in the hunting regs, that if a tag for ONP Goat is drawn, hunters must then also buy an ONP issued supplemental license to hunt in the park).  Park and WDFW jointly develop park specific regulations to both insure successful removal of goats while minimizing impact on park visitors.
6)  Let citizen hunters solve the problem for us.

But I suppose that is too much to ask.  So, instead, we get the high cost, highly intrusive fix that we saw.  Congratulations.  We have received exactly what we deserved on this one.
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 9:06 am 
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Token Civilian, concerning Mountain Goats in Olympic National Park wrote:
Let citizen hunters solve the problem for us.

I suggested the same to the Park about 30 years ago.
I doubt if I was the only one. This is not a new idea.
Unfortunately, for the reasons Rod and I outlined above, it's a non-starter.
It really doesn't have anything to do with Republican or Democrat - it's the administration of ONP and NPS.

OlderThanIUsedToBe wrote:
"...if you want to be a stickler about non native species..."

The reason most of our National Parks are National Parks is because they have features which make them unique and special.
The introduction of non-indigenous flora and fauna dilutes that uniqueness.

If we were to allow our National Parks to become like every other place - overrun with Himalaya Blackberry, Scotch Broom, St. John's Wort, or domestic cattle and sheep, they'd no longer be unique and special.

RandyHiker wrote:
"...the plan was developed by a large committee."

Of course. The worst of both worlds.

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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 9:27 am 
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The relocation part is what seems to be absurd to me. Wildlife populations tend to rise to a sustainable level limited by predication. The relocated goats will likely starve or be eaten in their new locations at great expense and effort.

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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 9:38 am 
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This is just my lousy opinion, but I believe it was all about optics.

The simple, most cost-effective, and most expedient method would have been so simply send in some sharpshooters with high-powered rifles and take them out. No doubt our local military base, JBLM, could have easily provided willing and competent talent to achieve the objective in short order.

But Mountain Goats, like California Sea Lions and Gray Wolves, are fuzzy photogenic creatures that bring out the worst among the "animal rights" zealots.

It's okay to wantonly slaughter the bison who wander beyond the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, but not the non-native Mountain Goats residing within Olympic National Park.

dizzy.gif

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 10:55 am 
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Ski wrote:
It's okay to wantonly slaughter the bison who wander beyond the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, but not the non-native Mountain Goats residing within Olympic National Park.

dizzy.gif


The bison slaughter really bothers me.  Eliminated 30% of the herd one winter.  All on the off chance that maybe, just maybe, they might pass brucellosis on to cattle.
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Token Civilian
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Ski wrote:
It really doesn't have anything to do with Republican or Democrat - it's the administration of ONP and NPS.

And.....not or.  "And" when it comes to the parties. 

As for the admins of the NPS and ONP, are you saying there's a "Deep State" of NPS administrators, unaccountable to the Congress and President?   wink.gif

I'd further add, that IF the dips in DC could get their act together, BOTH Demmicans and Republicats, then the Congress-critters would make it Law.  And a President would support said Law.  And seeing as the administration of ONP and NPS work for the President, who is faithfully executing the Law, obstruction on the part of said admins would get their @$$es fired or reassigned for insubordination to the crappiest out of the way park in the nation.  And we would have private citizen hunters solving the problem of the goats and only a slight cost to the taxpayer, in lieu of the heavy burden we did suffer [sorry....had to pause while typing this - I caused myself to vomit at that Schoolhouse Rock level drivel.]  Again, this is why we can't have nice things at reasonable costs.

Older - Like so many things, the solution is simple, yet absolutely unattainable for reasons that escape me.  "Ranchers, if you have any cattle that become infected by brucellosis, we the Federal Government will pay you the full market value of the destroyed cattle, plus 20% for the hassle, plus reasonable fixed overhead costs like to fill out paperwork, for your trouble.  Said costs will be paid out of the taxpayer Treasury.  We do this because the Congress passed a Law signed by the President that determined that we, the American Citizens, want bison to roam free upon the land as they did so long ago.  However, we the Congress recognize that to do so, we cannot and will not impose costs on only a select group of Citizens, namely the ranchers who help feed us.  We all will bear the cost of this policy together from the public purse.
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 1:04 pm 
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This is getting way off topic, but there has never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to domestic cattle. None. Zip. Nada.
It's a myth perpetuated by the cattle ranching industry.

Token Civilian wrote:
"...are you saying there's a "Deep State" of NPS administrators..."

Olympic National Park plays by its own little rule book. Always has. Nothing new. And it goes way back to before there was an Olympic National Park.

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