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OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK PLANS TO ELIMINATE MOUNTAIN GOATS
Written by: KSQM NEWS
07/25/2017


Officials at Olympic National Park have released a plan to reduce or eliminate its population of non-native mountain goats – a plan that includes the options of either relocating the animals, or killing them.  A draft plan released yesterday for public comment says the park’s preferred alternative calls for capturing and relocating the goats to national forests in the North Cascade Mountains, where the goats are native.  However, the proposed plan includes the backup option of killing goats that escape capture. The park began studying ways to manage the goat population after a Port Angeles hiker, 63-year-old Robert Boardman, was fatally attacked by a goat in 2014.  A survey last year found that more than 600 mountain goats graze in the alpine meadows of the Olympics. Nearly a dozen goats were introduced to the Olympic Mountains in the 1920s, in an apparent effort to establish a hunting population.  However, hunting was prohibited after the park was established in 1938. The photogenic, but pesky animals have multiplied ever since.  The earliest biologists and park rangers could begin to carry out the plan is next summer. Park officials say the ultimate objective is to reduce the Olympic Mountain goat population to zero. 

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