The benefits of goats...
Sep 12, 2013 | 1768 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In regard to Mary O’Brien’s comments on the recent release of Rocky Mountain goats to the La Sal Mountains, she stated, “It’s a pretty special place to a lot of people, and the idea to put Rocky Mountain goats in the La Sals did not come from Moab.”

I will agree with Mary that the La Sal Mountains are a pretty special place.

Please, Mary, do not assume that you speak for me, a Moab native of 57 years, or the majority of the Moab community, about the desire to establish a population of Rocky Mountain goats on the La Sal Mountains. I am indeed a hunter as well as a member of the local community. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ decision to establish the new population did not solely come at the behest of hunters. People love to view Rocky Mountain goats. At a recent three-day event in Beaver County, Utah, 2,000 people came just to look at mountain goats. That would seem to be a benefit to recreationists and local communities as well.

I am sure that the early loggers, miners, ranchers and hunters to the La Sal Mountains felt that it was a pretty special place back then and they did not destroy it. I would doubt that anyone has spent more time than I in these alpine basins on the La Sals. It is easy to see the past gold exploration and logging operations in all of these alpine basins.

Why now are we treating these lands like wilderness? They are not and did not meet the criteria for wilderness when reviewed previously. These are National Forest lands that have been and should be managed for multiple use.

Let us not speculate that the newly released mountain goats in Beaver Basin will make an immediate trip, eight miles as the crow flies, to Mt. Peale National Research Area. The mountain goats may just find plenty of habitat in Beaver Basin, Bachelor Basin, Deep Creek Basin, Miners Basin, etc., and not need to travel to Mt. Peale for some time or at all.

Let us also not speculate that the mountain goats will key-in on or pose a threat to the La Sal daisy.

—Stan Baker


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