Leave our Goats Alone

Elk calves being herded into Forks.

Elk calves being herded into Forks.

Is Olympic National Park getting our goats again? It’s not us that needs to get our research in order.

There are a couple of books that mention mountain goats in the now-park long before 1920 when hunters thought it would be good to have more goats to hunt in the Olympics.

One of these books is “Men, Mules and Mountains” about the O’Neil Olympic Expedition in 1885. “Saw a mountain goat.” And then there is Johnny Come Lately, which I believe the park is credited for helping put it together. “The natives feasted on mountain goats.”

And then there is Paul Rickerson’s album of his trek across the Olympics in 1915. His son gave it to the park because he felt it was about the now-park.

Funny how this picture album had pictures of mountain goats in it. The album went for the Hoh to headquarters in Port Angeles. Last I heard the park couldn’t find it … Not before a few of us got to look at it.

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife paid Dora Huelsdonk Richmond to capture elk calves to exchange for mountain goats to put in the Olympics before it was a park.

The family raised the calves until they were old enough to be driven over trail to Forks to be carted off to two islands in Alaska and some went to Skagit County.

Our family has been here since 1890 — we might happen to know some history.

Park, leave our goats alone, they were here before you were.

Marilyn Lewis

Upper Hoh