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See mountain goats in unique terrain

Free viewing event Aug. 2 on Tushar Mountain

BEAVER — You could see as many as 100 mountain goats on Aug. 2. And you might not need binoculars to see them. At some past viewing events, goats have gotten as close as 35 feet to those viewing them.

You could see as many as 100 mountain goats at this year's Tushar Mountain Goat Watch.

You could see as many as 100 mountain goats at this year's Tushar Mountain Goat Watch.

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain

On Aug. 2, the Division of Wildlife Resources will host its annual Goat Watch on the Tushar Mountains east of Beaver.

The event is free.

The trip will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the convenience store at the bottom of Exit 109 off Interstate 15. (Exit 109 is the exit on the south side of Beaver.)

From there, participants will caravan to the top of the Tushar Mountains. When you reach the top, you'll be close to 11,500 feet above sea level.

Lynn Chamberlain, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, says the view from the top of the Tushars is amazing. "You can see all of southern Utah," he says. "And we can almost always find the goats."

If binoculars or spotting scopes are needed, Chamberlain will have some you can borrow. But if you have your own viewing equipment, please bring it.

Chamberlain also encourages you to bring water, a hat, a jacket and a sack lunch. It's also a good idea to travel in a vehicle that has high ground clearance. "The road can be rocky towards the top," he says.

If you can't attend the Aug. 2 event, DWR staff and equipment will be at the same viewing site Aug. 6–9. "The Paiute ATV Festival will be held during those days," Chamberlain says. "The Paiute ATV trail is close to the viewing area."

Chamberlain says DWR staff will be on hand to answer questions and help festival participants see the sheep. "If you can't attend the goat watch on Aug. 2," he says, "drop by the viewing site between Aug. 6 and Aug. 9. Viewing should be great then too."

A unique area

In addition to seeing the mountain goats, attending the viewing event will allow you to explore the alpine-tundra ecosystem in which the goats live. Found only above the timberline at high elevations, it's an ecosystem that's uncommon in southern Utah.

Chamberlain says unique animals live in this alpine-tundra terrain, including yellow-bellied marmots and pika. "These high-elevation areas get extremely cold in the winter," he says. "To survive, the animals have adapted some pretty interesting behaviors."

For more information about the goat watching event, call the DWR's Southern Region office at 435-865-6100.

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