Mother nature has not been all that cooperative with biologists plans to eliminate non-native mountain goats from Grand Teton National park. The park had implemented a temporary area closure for public and operational safety for those goat removal activities this week. However, the winter storms this week precluded the activity, and the park reopened the closed areas to the public. Denise Germann says the plan is to return to the operation at the end of January or sometime in February.
In order to aid in the conservation of a native and vulnerable population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Teton Range, the National Park Service recently finalized a management plan to remove nonnative mountain goats from the park via lethal and nonlethal means. Mountain goats are not native to Grand Teton National Park, and threaten the native Teton Range bighorn sheep herd through increased risk of pathogen transmission and the potential for competition. Aerially-based lethal activities are the most efficient and effective methods to remove nonnative mountain goats. However, the winter weather this week made those operations impossible.