Public Meetings Scheduled; Comments Accepted Through Sept. 26
The National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife invite the public to review and provide input about proposed alternatives for managing non-native mountain goats in the Olympic Mountains.
The draft alternatives are described and analyzed in the Draft Mountain Goat Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which was released today and can be reviewed at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/OLYMgoat. The plan’s purpose is to allow Olympic National Park to reduce or eliminate environmental impacts from non-native mountain goats, and reduce potential public safety issues associated with the goats’ presence in the park.
“We are pleased and grateful for our close collaboration with the Forest Service and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife in developing the draft plan,” said Acting Olympic National Park Superintendent Lee Taylor. “Mountain goats are not native to the Olympic Peninsula and cause impacts to park resources and create safety risks for park visitors.”
The plan alternatives include actions proposed to occur within Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest, and associated actions proposed by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to translocate mountain goats to the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie and Okanogan Wenatchee National Forests in the Cascades.
A population survey of mountain goats in the Olympic Mountains conducted in summer of 2016 showed that the population increased an average of eight percent annually from 2004-2016. If this rate of population growth were sustained, the population would increase by 45 percent over the next five years. At the same time, mountain goats are native to the North Cascades, but exist in low numbers in many areas. Both the U.S. Forest Service and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife have long been interested in restoring mountain goats to these depleted areas.
The National Park Service announced its plan to develop a Mountain Goat Management Plan/EIS in July 2014. Public workshops were held in August 2014 and public comments were invited. Approximately 100 pieces of correspondence were received and used in developing the Draft Mountain Goat Management Plan EIS.
A series of public meetings are scheduled for mid-August and the public is invited to participate.