More mountain goats please?
I have been thinking about starting a campaign with the Wyoming game and fish to expand Mountain Goats into areas that would be good habitat like they do with sheep.
My thoughts are the following:
1. Goats are not as suscceptable to disease as sheep, and the huge cost of introducing goats wouldn't be slammed shut by a wandering domestic ram's bad intentions.
2. Goats are not as prolific as sheep and there would be no need of over-stepping their boundaries and expanding into domestic sheep areas. Goat kid recruitment is usually much slower than bighorn sheep lamb recruitment.
3. As the cost of guided goat hunts increase in Canada and Alaska the species has had a noticed increase into the "glamour game" realm. This could increase depleted Game and Fish financial coffers by offering another "trophy" animal in higher numbers.
4. Wyoming could make the claim that they are not native, not 100% sure how true that is, but both Utah and Nevada have mountain goats in areas that are far from native traditional mountain goat ranges.
5. The state is slated to loose huge numbers of moose tag sales due to wolf predation in the Greater Yellowstone Eco-system. This sale of more goat tags could help to mediate that problem.
What do you guys think?
Who would pay for it? Seems like it would be a big investment with little or no revenue generated. Even if transplants are successful it would be years before there would be any sort of a hunting season. Don't get me wrong I think expanding the range would be a great idea but there appears to be a lack of funds unless they raise tag fees again.
Wild sheep foundation has paid for most of the sheep introduction revenue, but the current tool bag that runs that place is against it. I asked him about it last year.
If I end up back home in Wyoming I'll campaign at the gunshows and through sportsmens groups to find the Game end Fish the money.
I need to talk to the Wyoming wool-growers and make sure, we have their blessing. They are a pretty powerful lobby in their own right. I know they are part of the reason that a lot of wild sheep introductions have been stalled. And for good reason, if wild sheep were introduced to leased BLM/Forrest Service ranchlands sheep ranchers would lose money.
I need to do more research, but what do you guys think about the idea.
It's not like I am asking to release ibex, chamois or tahr. We are talking about an animal that exist wild in the state.
I think that mountain goats should be supported as elk, sheep, and mule deer are. Hopefully something can be done for them as it has been done for the animals listed above, for me all it took was that first sighting of mountain goats, doing what they do , high in the rockies and I have been a mountain goat nut ever since.
If we ned up moving back home to Wyoming I am going to start campaigning. I'll post it here first when I get it going.
I know a guy in Casper founded a pronghorn antelope foundation that ended up floundering. This was before internet was such a major medium.
I might try and do something like that.