Via Truck And Helicopter, Mountain Goats Find New Home

The National Park Service has embarked on a 3 to 5 year plan, in collaboration with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Forest Service, to remove all mountain goats from Olympic National Park in Washington state.

As part of that plan, more than 75 mountain goats arrived in Washington's North Cascade mountains by refrigerated truck in recent weeks, before being transferred to helicopters for the ride of their lives.

The mountain goats came from Olympic National Park, where they are a non-native species that has wreaked havoc on the fragile alpine ecosystem and harassed hikers.

"This translocation effort isn't going to solve the problem," said David Wallin, a professor in the environmental sciences department at Western Washington University. "But we figure we can move 300 to 400 goats over and that's a 10 percent bump in the population [in the North Cascades]. Our hope is that will help jump start the recovery." The infusion of goats will boost the genetic diversity of the dwindling North Cascades population.

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 4:19pm