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2015 South Dakota RMGA Project Recap

August 13, 2017

In 2015, the RMGA solicited volunteers for a ground count in Black Hills, South Dakota. It was a successful weekend with plenty of goat sightings!

By: Peter Muennich

Our 2015 Black Hills survey was another great success. Volunteers from several different states assembled in the name of conservation to, once again, assist South Dakota Game Fish & Parks with their spring goat count. Although the weekend was plagued with rain showers and thunderstorms, we had dozens of volunteers that still managed to get in the field and contribute hundreds of hours to this vital survey.

For the first time in nine years, South Dakota has proposed a mountain goat hunting season with two available permits for the fall of 2015. This opportunity is a direct result of conservative management practiced by South Dakota Game Fish & Parks. The robust population is currently estimated around 100 animals, making the target harvest percentage of 2% a very conservative goal. We are excited for and applaud South Dakota in this revived hunting endeavor.

We look forward to returning to the Black Hills in the years ahead to continue to assist with the collection of this important mountain goat population data. The impressive amount of total hours spent surveying is achievable only by the generous assistance of our volunteers. We want to thank each and every person who took the time to lend a helping hand. We would like to extend a special thanks to RMGA Life-Member, Mark Miller, who was generous enough to not only volunteer, but also to cover the costs of all groceries for our daily volunteer breakfasts and evening BBQs.

The RMGA wants to sincerely thank all of our members for helping make this trip financially possible. Your commitment to the Alliance put boots on the trails and eyes on the hills. We also would like to thank all of the volunteers who donated their time and great attitudes to this fantastic study. Our findings will become the baseline of data South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks will use in the year ahead to manage these elusive creatures as they see fit. We hope you join us on our next adventure and help us play a vital role in mountain goat conservation.

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