A mountain goat stands in the foreground of a view of Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park. (Roger Hoffman/National Park Service)

A mountain goat stands in the foreground of a view of Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park. (Roger Hoffman/National Park Service)

Olympic National Park to start capturing mountain goats this summer

Park Service releases record of decision on relocating, killing animals

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Olympic National Park will begin capturing mountain goats late this summer now that the Park Service has released its record of decision for the Mountain Goat Management Plan, officials said Tuesday.

Olympic National Park plans to relocate the majority of mountain goats to U.S. Forest Service land in the North Cascades national forests and to kill the remaining mountain goats that evade capture in Olympic National Park.

The park will begin capturing goats during a two-week period this summer at Hurricane Hill, said Louise Johnson, chief of resources management for the park.

“The timeline for implementation has always been a three- to five-year period, but we’re really honing in on the first three years being the heavy implementation of goat capture and translocation, then transition to lethal removal,” she said.

Johnson said the execution of the plan largely depends on funding and that she anticipates at least three years of funding.

During 2019 and 2020, a pair of two-week operational periods are expected, in which crews at two locations in the park work to capture goats.

The first would be in July and the second would be in late August or early September, she said.

Johnson said the hope is to capture about half of the mountain goats. The ones that are unable to be captured will be shot.

A 2016 population survey of mountain goats in the Olympic Mountains showed that the population increased an average of eight percent annually from 2004 to 2016.

It has more than doubled since 2004 to about 625.

She said the park plans to use trained volunteers on the ground to shoot goats from afar.

Because of the difficult terrain, the park will also use helicopters.

“We’ll be doing more lethal removal from the ground and try to reduce the amount of helicopter flights,” she said.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service to relocate mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula,” said Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

“In turn, we support the state, the U.S. Forest Service, and area tribes to re-establish sustainable populations of goats in the Washington Cascades, where goats are native, and populations have been depleted.”

The plan’s purpose is to allow Olympic National Park “to reduce or eliminate the environmental damage created by non-native mountain goats and the public safety risks associated with their presence in the park,” the park service said.

In 2010, Bob Boardman of Port Angeles was fatally gored by a mountain goat on Klahhane Ridge in Olympic National Park.

About 2,300 comments were received on the draft EIS, the park service said.

The final EIS is available for public viewing at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/OLYMgoat.

The comments were used to develop the final version of the document, which includes modified versions of alternatives C and D (the preferred alternative), other minor revisions, and the agencies’ responses to public comments.

The population is expected to grow by another 100 this year.

By 2023, the population could be nearly 1,000 goats. Mountain goats are native to the North Cascades Mountains but exist in low numbers in many areas.

Both the USFS and the WDFW have long been interested in restoring mountain goats to these depleted areas.

________

This story was first published in the Peninsula Daily News. Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

t
Sound Transit Board approves Julie Timm as new CEO at $375,000 per year

She replaces Peter Rogoff who left in May after board voted to replace him

t
Statewide task force to tackle organized retail crime rings

Group brings law enforcement, prosecutors, retailers together to combat growing problem

t
Sound Transit committee recommends Julie Timm as next CEO

She is CEO of Greater Richmond Transit Company in Virginia

COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit
Courtesy of Hazardous Waste Management Program.
Study: Lead exposure linked to kitchen cookware from Afghan refugees in King County

The issue was first noticed in Afghan children in King County, but more communities may be at risk.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who is running for U.S. Congress in the 8th District, speaks to supporters in March. Photo courtesy of Dunn’s Facebook campaign page
Against the grain: Reagan Dunn holds the torch for King County conservatives

What it means to be the top Republican in a liberal King County government.

Assistant Secretary of Health Michele Roberts (left) and Health Secretary Umair Shah.
As COVID trends up again, state officials ‘strongly recommend’ masks

There are no new mandates in Washington. But “we really have an opportunity to get ahead of this.”

Screenshot of April 5 Edmonds City Council meeting. Inset (L-R): Mayor Mike Nelson and council members Kristiana Johnson, Will Chen, Neil Tibbott, Diane Buckshnis, Vivian Olson, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson. (City of Edmonds)
After long debate, Edmonds bans homeless people from living outside

The criminal law is unenforceable if no shelter is open within 35 miles. The City Council approved it over public outcry.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.