U.S. Forest Service Closes North Idaho Trail Due to Aggressive Mountain Goats 

click to enlarge A mountain goat perches on a ledge on Scotchman Peak. - ZACH HAGADONE
  • Zach Hagadone
  • A mountain goat perches on a ledge on Scotchman Peak.


The U.S. Forest Service announced Sept. 11 it had closed the Scotchman Peak trail near the Bonner County town of Clark Fork. The reason: aggressive mountain goats.

According to the Bonner County Daily Bee, Forest Service personnel said hikers on the trail offering food to the goats had acclimated the animals to humans' presence, making them more aggressive. 

"The temporary closure is intended to allow time for the goats to find other sources of food beyond handouts provided by hikers and to reduce their willingness to approach humans," Idaho Panhandle National Forests spokesman Jason Kirchner stated a press release. 

Scotchman Peak trail leads to the summit of the 7,009-foot Scotchman Peak—the highest summit in Bonner County—which offers commanding views of Lake Pend Oreille. 

Last year, Idaho Fish and Game embarked on an information campaign urging visitors to the Scotchman Peak trail not to feed the goats, and in June, a goat bit a hiker, who required medical treatment and multiple stitches for the wound. In 2010, a hiker died in a goring incident at the Olympia National Park in Washington state.
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