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Public Invited To Watch Moutain Goats Cling 'To A Verticle Cliff' In Utah Mountains

Lynn Chamberlain
Division of Wildlife Resources
Mountain Goats

In the Tushar Mountains of Utah, nearly 11,000 feet above sea level, state wildlife officials monitor the wellbeing of one of the many mountain goat herds in the state. The public is invited to explore Utah’s third highest mountain peak in search of these furry cliff climbers.

Once a year, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources invites the public to carpool to areas of the mountain where the goats live. Phil Tuttle is a conservation outreach manager for the division and says the mountain goat population is doing really well in Utah.

“So well in fact that we’re actually moving them around quite a bit to keep down the populations in check,” he said. “We don’t want the population to get too big, so we are moving some of the goats from areas where they are highly populated to areas where they’re highly populated to areas.”

The DWR transplants about 30-40 goats every year all over the state by using a helicopter.

“We can go in with a helicopter and a net gun and capture these animals that are becoming highly populated and move them to areas where they are not,” he said.

Tuttle said population management is an important role for the DWR which plays a role in protecting species for the public, not only for recreation but for hunting as well.

“It’s amazing to see an animal that could literally be clinging to a vertical cliff,” he said. “Living there and surviving there and clinging there - it’s just unbelievable. So there’s a lot of value in seeing that animal ... and it’s surviving in that habitat.”

The annual Goat Watch will take place in the Tushar Mountains, which are east of Beaver, on August 6 at 8:00 a.m.