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Author Topic: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey  (Read 3915 times)

Offline Bushcraft

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2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« on: June 03, 2017, 11:03:08 AM »
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness area, located in central Washington, is home to a significant population of mountain goats. An attempt was made a couple years ago to obtain some count data, but proved difficult due to unseasonably hot weather,  fire closures and a limited number of volunteers.  In recent years, hikers have reported aggressive and/or destructive behavior in high-use areas.  We want to gain a better understanding of where the goats are concentrated, how many there throughout the area, how they interact with hikers, and their general health. 

On July 14-17, 2017, in conjunction with SCI and WDFW, the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance will once again lead a boots-on-the-ground survey in and around the Enchantments.  The primary objective is to pin-point the location of goats so that WDFW can follow-up within a week or two with a more efficient and cost effective helicopter aerial survey to obtain a precise population count.  Whenever possible, accurate counts of male, female and juveniles and their GPS locations will be documented by volunteers.

Anyone can day hike within the Enchantment Permit Zone Areas, but must have a permit to overnight.  The Forest Service has agreed to give us a limited number of administrative permits (which have already been allocated) for WDFW personnel and RMGA volunteers to overnight within the Enchantment Permit Zone Areas.  These volunteers can spread out during the day, but must use the same campsite at night with the designated group leader.  The plan is for this group to do a through-hike of all five zones, cover as much ground within them as possible, and document their observations.  But, given the size and scope of the area and the nightly designated campsite constraint, this limited number volunteers can't possibly cover everything surrounding the Enchantment zones.

And so, we need your help!  We need volunteers that are willing to help locate goat populations around the perimeter of the Enchantment Permit Zone Areas. See attachment. If you would like to join us in the mountains for this backpacking survey, please contact the Washington RMGA volunteer coordinator Allen Ernst at allen.ernst@comcast.net or (206) 229-2519.



All able-hikers welcome! Please come prepared with proper backcountry camping gear including good boots, water filtration systems, food, optics, GPS and cameras if you have them. Knowledge of how to use crampons and ice-axes may come in handy given the heavy snowpack.  Help us spread the word and share this project with anyone and everyone who may able to assist. The plan right now is to get a good count of volunteers and where they might be interested in going.

All volunteers will eventually have to formally register with the State of Washington.  More details and a registration link will be sent to all volunteers as the date draws nearer.

Additionally, those entering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area must have a wilderness permit and follow the appropriate regulations.

Best regards,

Allen
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Offline kselkhunter

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2017, 12:28:37 PM »
Sounds like fun. Too bad the enchantment passes are already allocated. But will contact Allen.

Offline Stickerbush

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2017, 01:11:20 PM »
Yes email sent, but I'm not sure how this would work. Does this mean that I would have to do day hikes as a volunteer?
Coastal Perspective.

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2017, 02:05:33 PM »
There is nothing that says someone canít day hike inside the boundaries of the designated Enchantment permit area. But, one would have to find a spot outside the boundaries to overnight or risk a citation.  I have no idea how diligent the Rangers are about policing the overnight permit zones for people who decide to use a small, easily hidden bivy shelter. 
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Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2017, 02:14:15 PM »
Could "Clint E." please get back to me with a good e-mail address?
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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 03:48:11 PM »
 :tup:
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Offline HighCountryHunter88

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2017, 06:24:20 PM »
So the through hike is already allocated?
-Matt

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2017, 08:56:38 PM »
So the through hike is already allocated?

At this point, yes.  If a spot opens up I'll let you know Matt.
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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 09:03:12 PM »
Any plan of doing the North of I90 area, or do they have a good grasp of those goats already. Last time I was up in French Cabin they where all over the place.

Offline HighCountryHunter88

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2017, 09:15:34 PM »
So the through hike is already allocated?

At this point, yes.  If a spot opens up I'll let you know Matt.

Well that's lame
-Matt

Offline CLARKTAR

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2017, 09:25:21 PM »
So the through hike is already allocated?

At this point, yes.  If a spot opens up I'll let you know Matt.

Well that's lame
Agreed

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Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2017, 09:25:45 PM »
So the through hike is already allocated?

At this point, yes.  If a spot opens up I'll let you know Matt.

Well that's lame

Did you not want me to let you know? Haha!  :) ;)
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Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2017, 09:30:06 PM »
FWIW, I think it's a tad ridiculous how stingy the FS is with their admin passes AND having to camp together every night.  We could be way more productive if we used the approach we did last year in the Goat Rocks.  I went 'round and 'round with them, but in they end they have all the leverage.  :bash:
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Offline jackelope

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2017, 07:42:38 AM »
So the through hike is already allocated?

At this point, yes. If a spot opens up I'll let you know Matt.

Well that's lame

Did you not want me to let you know? Haha!  :) ;)

You can through hike the Enchantments without a permit. There is no camping within the core zone but there's no allocation for through hiking. Have at it, just don't spend the night in the core Enchantments.
:fire.:

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Offline Knocker of rocks

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2017, 08:01:55 AM »


You can through hike the Enchantments without a permit. There is no camping within the core zone but there's no allocation for through hiking. Have at it, just don't spend the night in the core Enchantments.

Minor correction, you do need a self issued hiking permit from the trailhead.  No limit to those

Offline jackelope

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2017, 12:13:05 PM »


You can through hike the Enchantments without a permit. There is no camping within the core zone but there's no allocation for through hiking. Have at it, just don't spend the night in the core Enchantments.

Minor correction, you do need a self issued hiking permit from the trailhead.  No limit to those

Agreed, and good point.
:fire.:

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Offline ghostshell

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2017, 10:22:27 AM »
sounds like it would be a challenge to be productive given the perimiter of usage of the area allowed. seems to me they should ease up on there rules for this so more data could be obtained and utilize efforts. i would be interested in going but day use only and or having to trek away from boundry? perhaps there interest is really not there..........

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2017, 12:34:30 PM »
There is still a lot of great country around the overnight permit-only perimeter.  We'll need help with areas to the north of Mt. Cashmere, northwest of Windy Pass, and west of Horseshoe Lake.  If we could get some people up around Ingalls Peak that would be great!
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Offline Cougeyes

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2017, 11:57:53 AM »
Is the end game hoping that a season can be opened up similar to the conflict hunts in the Olympics?  I'm asking because the last ground survey was to not only figure out the distribution of goats on a broader scale but try and get an accurate count in hopes of opening back up a unit between highway 2 and I-90.  This survey effort is a reduction of that initial broader survey footprint, and clearly will not capture other goat concentrations between I-90 and Highway 2 (e.g. Kachess ridge/Lake Cle Elum, Waptus pass).  I would definitely encourage someone to survey Ingalls peak/lake and longs pass as there are quite a few up there that are quite habituated and somewhat aggressive.

Offline jackelope

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2017, 09:01:51 AM »
I'm wondering why the survey in the core zone Enchantments?

Wondering the same thing re: conflict permits. @Bushcraft  , any more insight as to the overall intent of the surveys?
 

:fire.:

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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2017, 09:30:41 AM »
Possibly the same issue they have on the Olympic Peninsula where there are too many in the area. I know when I did the one day hike thru there was a ridiculous number of them. They were quite comfortable being around people and that is one area that has a ton of people during the hiking and trail running season.

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2017, 09:21:38 PM »
WDFW wants to gain a better understanding of seasonal goat concentrations in and around this extremely high-use area.  They will be flying it within a week or two and having some boots on the ground will help them establish more efficient flight plans.  Helicopters are expensive to run!

To answer some questions, the primary objective is to observe where they are located, try and determine billy/nanny/kid count, observe and document interactions with hikers, look over available feed sources, perhaps paintball any that exhibit aggressive behaviors towards hikers so the FS can try and keep tabs on the problem goats (and alert hikers to goats that have gotten too adjusted to people).

I have been contacted by quite a few people and plan on contacting each person for location assignments between now and Friday.   There's room for more volunteers. Even if you overlap with others, it's a great excuse to get out in some great country with some great folks that care about conservation.

Regards,

Allen
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Offline Gringo31

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2017, 11:53:58 AM »
 :tup:
We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
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Offline kingfisher360

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2017, 03:25:24 PM »
 :tup:

Offline pope

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2017, 03:46:41 PM »
Hint: look near the base and top of Snow Creek Wall. Take your shoes off because you'll fingers and toes to count 'em all.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2017, 11:25:22 AM »
You can through hike the Enchantments without a permit. There is no camping within the core zone but there's no allocation for through hiking. Have at it, just don't spend the night in the core Enchantments.
You need a permit to spend the night in ANY of the Enchantment zones -- not just the core zone.  We were there this past weekend with a Snow Zone permit and got checked by the ranger.  We saw a group without a permit get kicked out as well. 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev3_053607

Offline kingfisher360

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2017, 06:58:10 PM »
Well that was fun up at windy pass area, can't wait for next year

Offline X-Force

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2017, 07:37:02 PM »
We had a good time too. Wish we had more time in there.
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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2017, 08:23:21 AM »
Yeah next time we will go up to cashmere from the north and come up that way. Even thou we had a overnight pass of eightmile I think more area can be covered from the non permit area. Its big country.

Offline quadrafire

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2017, 09:09:37 AM »
tag

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2017, 10:15:25 PM »
I'd love to hear any reports/outcomes of the survey.  Our dates were wrong but I still got to chat with Allen, which was a pleasure.  I'm hoping the population study comes out with way more animals than we thought so maybe I'll have a prayer of drawing a tag in my lifetime :)

I'm 30 and just moved to WA and just getting into hunting, so I'm certainly a few years behind on my points...

Offline Dode

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2017, 06:13:09 AM »
I counted 23 of them in my area! Sorry for the double pic.
Mountain top!

Offline jackelope

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2017, 07:20:45 AM »
I'd love to hear any reports/outcomes of the survey.  Our dates were wrong but I still got to chat with Allen, which was a pleasure.  I'm hoping the population study comes out with way more animals than we thought so maybe I'll have a prayer of drawing a tag in my lifetime :)

I'm 30 and just moved to WA and just getting into hunting, so I'm certainly a few years behind on my points...

Hey I was not applying for permits when I was 30(35 was my first year) and I'm going mountain goat hunting this year. In a perfect world, I'll be 44 when I kill my goat.
:fire.:

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Offline quadrafire

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2017, 07:34:47 AM »
I'd love to hear any reports/outcomes of the survey.  Our dates were wrong but I still got to chat with Allen, which was a pleasure.  I'm hoping the population study comes out with way more animals than we thought so maybe I'll have a prayer of drawing a tag in my lifetime :)

I'm 30 and just moved to WA and just getting into hunting, so I'm certainly a few years behind on my points...

Hey I was not applying for permits when I was 30(35 was my first year) and I'm going mountain goat hunting this year. In a perfect world, I'll be 44 when I kill my goat.
Yea but you drew LONG before you were due.  ;)

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2017, 10:02:24 AM »
Just wanted to recap our goat count experience. We were only in there for a short stint compared to some guys but it was fun camping and counting animals.

24 goats in basically a day. Most were near the trail and lake Ingalls. We camped in the NF just outside of the wilderness boundary. Beautiful country.

We saw 3 aggressive goat encounters all were nannys and 2 had kids.
A guy just inside of the wilderness boundary was booted from his camp by a nanny and kid who pushed him 150 yards all the way back to the trail and only left him alone after 8 people on the trail stared her down.
Second aggressive goat was near the lake where a guy got between the goats and water. A nanny pushed him around a dead tree and down the hill until her and her group had a clear walking path to the lake.
Third goat wasn't totally aggressive but kept pushing in on us while we were sitting on a cliff watching goats below. She would sneak in to 15 yards or so, get shooed off an come back in after a couple minutes. We finally let her have the rock and we headed back to camp.
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2017, 10:10:02 AM »
Love the photos
My website.....DDK Photography
http://ddkphotography.pixels.com

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2017, 12:11:31 PM »
Thanks for the photo's, X-Force!!
 
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Offline Bushcraft

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Re: 2017 Alpine Lakes Mountain Goat Survey
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2017, 12:53:29 PM »
Great pics!  I'll have to post some from the count too.

The goats in the area, particularly the core Enchantments are highly habituated towards humans and have come to realize that we are an easy source of salt (from our urine and sweaty clothes and gear that's left out).  It's likely that they weren't necessarily acting aggressively, but just trying to get close or stay close to a Salt Dispenser.  ;)

The best response is to hurl rocks at or near them if they get too close.  This almost always scares them off.  Don't physically engage them with hiking sticks as this will likely trigger a fight instinct...and they'll win.  As you no doubt observed they are constantly jockeying for food and bedding and are not at all kind to one another in the process.  It's like watching a dysfunctional family.  :chuckle:  If fact, during translocation projects, we need to crate them individually or they'll kill or severely hurt one another.
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