The WSF is fully in support of gunning the goats, probably not so cracked up about killing sheep, but may support it rather than risking the loss of more if they don't.I read that a couple weeks back and also found it rather ironic. I’d be curious to know where the wild sheep foundation, etc. stand on both of these issues.
... regarding the topic in general... I’m all for incorporating sportsmen; however, sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture with regard to conservation. There are some circumstances where immediate action has to be taken, and sportsmen take a backseat. Whether this is one of those times or not, honestly I’m not sure. We don’t have to like it necessarily, and should question such actions; however, I do think that there are certain circumstances where such actions are necessary. If I had to venture to guess, I would assume that the course of action for NPS may revolve more around NEPA documents, and trying to get this done before getting sued (?)
The big question nobody seems to want to answer, is, where is the research or proof that says the goats are even going to harm the 125 struggling sheep in the Tetons?
I've heard it stated in the articles that the goats "may" be able to spread disease to those sheep, "may" be competing with the sheep.
Funny thing though, all throughout large portions of Montana, where sheep and goats are both native to the same areas, they've lived together for thousands of years. Same with most all of Canada and Alaska.
These issues bother me because you have the big $$$$$ sheep guys, with an undue amount of influence placing bighorn sheep on a pedestal. The GF spends 2.5 million a year managing sheep and there were 180 tags issued last year. Direct revenue generated by sheep to the Department was 1.3 million.
I think sheep are an awesome animal no doubt about it. But, I still have to ask the question if killing off a bunch of mountain goats from helicopters is really how far we need to go to save one sheep?
I don't know the answer to that because I haven't seen convincing evidence that the action is warranted.