Posts tagged: Scotchman Peak
PUBLIC LANDS — Bonner County Commissioners got most of what they wanted in changes to recommended wilderness in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests revised management plan just released this fall.
But they want more. I mean they want less.
Actually, they want none.
SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — Bonner County commissioners in northern Idaho are urging the U.S. Forest Service not to designate any more lands as potential federally protected wilderness in the Kootenai and Panhandle national forests.
The Bonner County Daily Bee reports in a story on Sunday that commissioners say there are other ways for pristine areas to be preserved.
Commissioner Mike Nielsen says Scotchman Peak needs to be protected but that wilderness protection would isolate adjacent areas where trails are groomed for snowmobile riders.
A draft forest management plan released in October recommends making more than 25,000 acres of the Scotchman Peaks area in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana part of a federally protected wilderness.
The recommended area for the Scotchman Peaks has widespread support and mountain goats that need protection from the advances of motorized winter recreation.
Bonner County officials are just one faction. Read on for a Lewiston Tribune story about another point of view regarding the IPNF wilderness recommendations.
WILDLIFE — My Sunday Outdoors story about the consequences of food-conditioning wildlife mentions the 2010 incident in which a hiker in Olympic National Park bled to death after being gored in the thigh by an aggressive mountain goat.
The horns on a mountain goat are sharp and they come in to foes at a deadly level.
The wound to the shoulder of the billy pictured above likely is a goring wound from another goat, experts surmise.
Hikers who saw the goat earlier this summer on North Idaho's Scotchman Peak said the wound was bloody and nasty looking at that time — and the goat had a bad attitude about it that forced them to throw a barrage of rocks to get it to leave them alone.
This month, the wound seems to be healing well … and the goat's demeanor was much more pleasant.
What do you think about media personalities and “experts” who suggest to the public that they have a special touch with wildlife that makes it OK for them to befriend and feed wild animals.
HIKING — The greeting party was there, as usual on top of Scotchman Peak on Thursday, rewarding my daughter and me for our steep 7-mile-round-trip hike from the northeast corner of Lake Pend Oreille.
Mountain goats that live on the Idaho peak towering above Clark Fork, Idaho, have become an attraction in themselves. They can almost make you overlook the killer view of Lake Pend Oreille, the Selkirk Mountains to the west, the Cabinet Mountains to the east and the expanse of backcountry to the north proposed for wilderness.
If you go:
— Expect a hike that's vigorous going up and punishing on the way down.
—Prepare for bugs on the summit if winds are calm.
—Urinate off the trail well before reaching the rocky summit area to avoid conditioning the goats to following people. Mountain goats crave the salt in urine and it's thought to make them aggressive, as in the case of the hiker who was gored to death in Olympic National Park.
—Heed the warning signs and please don't feed the goats — for their own good and yours. They've been fed before and they'll come looking for food and salt to lick. Guard your packs. They may try to nibble at your pack straps.
I fear for the mountain goats' future if they continue to be spoiled and set up to hurt somebody one day.
After posting the blog info above on Facebook, I received this reply to consider from FB friend Nick Delavan:
My friend Cody Evans and I made our yearly pilgrimage to the summit (of Scotchman Peak) a month ago. We were greeted by 7 goats one of which was extremely aggressive and at one point he charged, stopping only ten feet from us. We almost turned his white coat orange! Thankfully a well placed rock via fast pitch sent him on his way. I believe that particular goat was sick, injured or both. It was a good reminder that these animals are wild and have the potential to be dangerous. At no point should people forget that. Leave no trace applies even on a day hike!
WILDLIFE — Three cheers for Gonzaga University student Molly Sullivan Roberge and others who've been putting up posters recently to help the mountain-going public learn how to be good neighbors with the mountain goats that highlight our high-country hiking trips.
Shown above, Molly is putting up a poster at the Scotchman Peak Trail #65 near Hope, Idaho. The posters printed by the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness (in cooperation with state wildlife officials) identify a few practices that hikers should follow when hiking in goat territory. (See below)
So far, volunteers have posted signs at the trailheads to Goat Peak, Scotchman Peak, Star Peak, Pillick Ridge, Dry Creek, Ross Creek Cedars and Little Spar Lake.
Read on for details from the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks:
HIKING — We teased you earlier, but now North Idaho videographer Bob Legasa has completed his short feature on the pleasures and personalities you might meet after making a hard 7-mile round-trip hike up Scotchman Peak northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.
Enjoy the video, and please notice a couple of things.
Legasa posted the “mountain goat etiquette” tips for hikers at the end, courtesy of the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.
HIKING — Bob Legasa, the North Idaho videographer best known for footage of hotdog skiers getting air and breaking pow, is working on a video of the critters he met on his recent hike to the summit of Scotchman Peak northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.
Here's his teaser. I'll let you know when the finished product is out.
HIKING — Mountain goats continue to make friendly appearances to reward hikers who make the steep 7-mile round trip to the summit of Scotchman Peak northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.
The Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness would like to see that great relationship continue, but they've learned for experts that even docile-looking mountain goats can become unpredictable and dangerous if humans spoil them.
Read and heed the etiquette so nicely summarized on the card.
And enjoy mountain goats wherever you find them.
The Friends are handing out the goat cards at the Bonner County Fair!
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Mountain goat watching has become an attraction luring hikers up the significantly steep 7-mile round trip to the top of Scotchman Peak northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.
Unfortunately, some hikers are urinating on the mountain top and making food available to the goats. Goats are attracted to the salt in urine and can become aggressive in defending their “salt licks.” They also can become dangerous with their sharp horns if they become addicted to human food.
Considering the number of hikers climbing up the peak nowadays, the cumulative effect of these actions could lead to a goat's demise.
NOTE: An aggressive mountain goat gored and killed a hiker in Olympic National Park last fall. The goat as killed by rangers. The family has just filed a $10 million wrongful death suit against the park…. you can see how serious this gets.
The Friends of of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness recognize the threat to their iconic goats, so they're posting signs — see pdf document with this post — and asking Scotchman visitors to act in the best interest of the goats.
“There is an increase in the number of goats, mostly younger, who are hanging around the top of Scotchman Peak,” said Phil Hough of the Friends group. “We're not sure if it's been a successfull couple years for goat reproduction, or if word has gotten out in the goat “social circles” that there are “yahoos” willing to do stupid things like feed them.
“We're trying to get the word out to leave them alone. Just this week, our summer intern, Lauren Mitchell, finished a Goat Education Poster. We'll be displaying it at trail heads and events.
Read on for some of the tips the poster offers for mountain goat encounters.
HIKING — Deb Hunsicker and Phil Hough know their way around Scotchman Peak northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.
As members of the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness the couple has hiked up the namesake peak numerous times.
Their intimacy with the mountain paid off Saturday as they easily scaled the peak even though most of the trail for the 7 mile round trip is still hidden by snow.
“There's still a LOT of snow,” Phil said. “The trail's obscured, so hike only if you already know the route or go with someone who does and add more time than you think you will need.”
At the top, in weather warm enough for t-shirts and shorts, Hunsicker and Hough were greeted by the Scotchman mountain goats.
They welcomed the company.
BTW, they know better than to feed the goats. Please don't do that if you go. They're good goats, now. Let's keep them that way.
In addition, the friends group is offering two hiking workshops with author, naturalist and historian Jack Nisbet.
The group hikes are geared to exposing the public to the rugged and scenic 88,000-acre roadless area the group is proposing for wilderness designation. The area straddles the Idaho-Montana border northeast of Clark Fork, Idaho, and ranges into Montana.
Next hike: June 18, 'Practice Mountain'
Distance, 4 miles round trip. Elevation gain 800 feet.
An easy-to-moderate hike begins along closed forest roads up Fatman Mountain and transitions to off-trail near the top for an easy scramble to the peak and views of the Clark Fork river valley as well as the Star Peak/Billiard Table ridge. A gentle descent brings hikers to an incredible view of Clayton Peak, Sawtooth Mountain and the east fork of Blue Creek.
WINTER SPORTS — A Saturday trek to the top of Scotchman Peak gave three backcountry skiers a heavenly if not gusty view of Lake Pend Oreille.
Jake Ostman, Jacob Styler and Michael Lucid — along with their canine companions Coco and Mojo — skinned up their skis for the ascent and made great tracks back down through the powder and wind-packed slopes.
The photos, including the one above, also readily tell backcountry travelers that new snow and high winds have created huge cornices on ridges and avalanche danger on wind-loaded slopes.
Be careful out there.