Wyoming Game & Fish requests Feds: “Let the hunters remove the goats”

BuzzH

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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 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.

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.
 

BuzzH

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I wonder what the nationwide support level would be to introduce wolves into Central Park, Chicago, LA, SF, etc, etc. Those wolves would have to be on the endangered lists for those locales. It's funny how that support is overwhelmingly positive when those that support something doesn't affect those people at all. Kind of like all the money that was used to get the wolf on the CO ballot........it all came from outside CO. Lunatic activism at its best.
Welcome to reality, you aren't anything special because of your zip code. The guy in New York City that never leaves the blacktop has the same rights as you when it comes to our public lands and wildlife. If the guy from NY is actively engaged in issues of public lands, perhaps even have a leg up on the big mouth from WY or CO that does nothing more than whine after the fact (which a vast majority did with the wolf issue).

Get over it or die with it...your argument is a straw man.
 

5MilesBack

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These issues bother me because you have the big $$$$$ sheep guys, with an undue amount of influence placing bighorn sheep on a pedestal.
Then you should be equally bothered because of the big $$$$$ wolf activists with an undue amount of influence placing wolves on a pedestal.......correct?
 

tdhanses

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Why does NPS get to play God anyway? If one species is better adapted to survive... especially if they are so set on not allowing conservation through hunting.
Because society has placed a greater value on bighorns. I’m not sure but there may also be fewer bighorns then goats so they want to protect their habitat. It’s not that the bighorns are not thriving because of habitat, it’s the disease the goats can pass on to the bighorn and wipe the population out.
 

tdhanses

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IS THERE research to back that up? Or is this the sheep guys slinging their weight around....... Inquiring minds.....

......
Exactly, that is just their basis, facts don’t seem to matter anymore. I’d like to see the proof as well.

Quick question, is this a move to remove goats from what someone has deemed not their natural habitat or because of disease risk. I’ve herd both arguments and really find both eyebrow raising, the goats are not foreign invasive species from another continent, they should have every right to the habitat they are in, just as much as bighorns.

Yet we still allow domestic sheep in bighorn country that could pose a larger risk to populations.
 

jmez

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Sheep hunters, for the most part, have a lot of money. They don't have more money than the Ag lobby.
 

BuzzH

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Then you should be equally bothered because of the big $$$$$ wolf activists with an undue amount of influence placing wolves on a pedestal.......correct?
Absolutely, but its a reality that its a sword that cuts both ways...depends on what side of the sword you're on.

Its great when you have the influence to punch above your weight class, sort of sucks when someone else does.

Its the arena we work in...and I deal with it best I can...recognizing full well there is no way around it.

As an example, in this case, I don't like that the big $$$ wild sheep guys and wild sheep advocates are having undue influence on THIS issue with goats. At the same time, I really like that the wild sheep advocates, and their $$$, are punching wayyyy above their weight class in regard to keeping wild sheep on the mountain.

I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath-water, no question that wild sheep advocates do a great deal of good things for all wildlife, they do great work. If it so happens that every once in a while I get my feelings hurt because they have more influence than me on an issue...hell, that's A-ok.

Learned long ago, getting pissed about something is fine, but then get over it and move on. Dwelling on issues that you just cant change makes a person bitter....like you with wolves. You have to make every wildlife issue about wolves...time to move on.
 

tdhanses

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Absolutely, but its a reality that its a sword that cuts both ways...depends on what side of the sword you're on.

Its great when you have the influence to punch above your weight class, sort of sucks when someone else does.

Its the arena we work in...and I deal with it best I can...recognizing full well there is no way around it.

As an example, in this case, I don't like that the big $$$ wild sheep guys and wild sheep advocates are having undue influence on THIS issue with goats. At the same time, I really like that the wild sheep advocates, and their $$$, are punching wayyyy above their weight class in regard to keeping wild sheep on the mountain.

I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath-water, no question that wild sheep advocates do a great deal of good things for all wildlife, they do great work. If it so happens that every once in a while I get my feelings hurt because they have more influence than me on an issue...hell, that's A-ok.

Learned long ago, getting pissed about something is fine, but then get over it and move on. Dwelling on issues that you just cant change makes a person bitter....like you with wolves. You have to make every wildlife issue about wolves...time to move on.
Well it could be wolves are on his mind because it isn’t a closed issue in CO where he lives and likes to point to the failures of other states hoping his isn’t next, just a guess.
 

BuzzH

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Well it could be wolves are on his mind because it isn’t a closed issue in CO where he lives and likes to point to the failures of other states hoping his isn’t next, just a guess.
Excuse me if I disagree...wolves are a federally protected Endangered Species in Colorado, already are inhabiting and establishing(ed), and Colorado has no State management plan.

I think its largely a closed issue...time to stop wondering if CO is going to have wolves or if CO is going to have to start dealing with them.
 

tdhanses

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Excuse me if I disagree...wolves are a federally protected Endangered Species in Colorado, already are inhabiting and establishing(ed), and Colorado has no State management plan.

I think its largely a closed issue...time to stop wondering if CO is going to have wolves or if CO is going to have to start dealing with them.
Ok, and you are allowed your opinion but nothing you stated has anything to do with the current push for reintroduction.

Also where is your proof there is a breeding pack in CO and not just the random roamer?

The exact same thing you said above can be said about grizzlies in CO.
 

BuzzH

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BuzzH

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Been a bunch of chatter about wolves in unit 2/201 in Colorado as well.

Yes, it does have everything to do with the recent push for reintroduction. Whether or not the ballot initiative passes, CO still better get its butt in gear with developing a state wolf management plan.

The hunting public better get serious, and quick, making sure that within the plan, wolf hunting is part of management.

Plus, the ballot initiative passing and wolf reintroduction happening...remember right now the Feds have control of wolves in Colorado, are 2 different things.

I'd be for spending my time on making sure the plan is in place, that realistic wolf numbers, packs, etc. are in place, and that after wolves are delisted that hunting is implemented.

The question of if CO will have wolves is over...now its about a proper plan and implementing that plan once they're off the list.
 

5MilesBack

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Dwelling on issues that you just cant change makes a person bitter....like you with wolves.
Wolves don't affect me either way........logic does. I could care less about the goats or the sheep for that matter as well, but does their logic make sense on either side???? That's what I care about.
 

wyosam

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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.

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.
There has been some very interesting information the last couple years at public meetings locally. There has been quite a bit of study done. If I recall, there was some work done swabbing goats looking for the various pathogens that cause pneumonia outbreaks in sheep herds that the goats are far less affected by. I believe that is the disease risk. There have been some interesting movement studies done with backcountry recreation (skiing) and I believe I remember something about sheep moving away from goats as well. Not surprisingly, further expansion of winter recreation closures are wildly unpopular here, and the presentation I saw, and discussed with the biologist showed that was absolutely necessary. I’ve set personal limits on staying further back from the current closure, but that is meaningless beyond what it means to me. I’ll occasionally pack a spotter in clear days skiing the park- there are a couple good vantage points to watch these sheep from. The habitat that herd gets by on through the winter is mind boggling. It is pretty easy to see why they are hanging by a thread. There is a pretty good chance of losing that herd regardless of what is done.


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wyosam

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Because society has placed a greater value on bighorns. I’m not sure but there may also be fewer bighorns then goats so they want to protect their habitat. It’s not that the bighorns are not thriving because of habitat, it’s the disease the goats can pass on to the bighorn and wipe the population out.
Mostly the native vs not argument puts the sheep over the goats. They have wandered to there from a herd planted in the snake river range a few decades ago. Goats weren’t native to this area (or anywhere in Wyoming I think).


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wyosam

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IS THERE research to back that up? Or is this the sheep guys slinging their weight around....... Inquiring minds.....

......
Yes, has been presented at multiple game and fish meetings.


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Malenurseevans

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I have learned that studies and data can easily be interpreted however the entity funding the research would like it to be. There are too many variables. I realize it's the best option to gather information we currently have, unfortunately.

Even sheep were not native at some point. I don't buy the native vs not native argument. Interesting discussion though. Someone will always be disappointed.

Buzzh nailed it on the head I think.

This may show my ignorance and misunderstanding of the subject, but why would high $$ sheep guys care about sheep they can't hunt in a NP?

The elk management plan seemed super controversial there, but I don't see that happening with this.
 

Middleofnowhere

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This may show my ignorance and misunderstanding of the subject, but why would high $$ sheep guys care about sheep they can't hunt in a NP?
I can only give my answer as a volunteer who does a lot of work with Desert Bighorn Sheep. We build and maintain guzzlers on park land and military bases, where no hunting will ever occur. Our organization is now getting close to 50/50 hunters vs. non-hunters. I would say none of our members are “anti”.

Sheep are a magnificent animal, the more the better. There is benefit to having increased sheep populations for genetic diversity, etc. also a healthy park population could be used to re-seed another population if needed.
 
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