PORT ANGELES — The Olympic, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests have prepared a draft Record of Decision for the Mountain Goat Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.
The draft Record of Decision proposes to authorize implementation of Alternative D of the Final EIS prepared by the Olympic National Park.
Alternative D allows the Park to proceed with this effort to reduce the mountain goat population in the Olympic Mountains by relocating them to the National Forests in the North Cascades and lethally removing the remaining goats from the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest.
Olympic National Park announced last month it would begin capturing mountain goats late this summer now that the Park Service has released its record of decision for the Mountain Goat Management Plan.
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.
The U.S. Forest Service is serving as a cooperating agency on this project with the National Park Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Mountain goats are not native to the Olympic Mountains but are native to the Cascades where they exist in low numbers. Moving goats to the Cascades will increase population diversity for the animals as well as provide them more preferred habitat.
The public is invited to submit objections on the draft record of decision over a 45-day period. Those that submitted comments during the previous designated comment period have standing to object.
Objections should be submitted to Objection Reviewing Officer, Region 6 Regional Forester, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service, 1320 SW Third Ave., Portland, OR 97204.
Electronic submissions are preferred and may be submitted by completing the form available online: https://tinyurl.com/PDN-Form.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.