Park Sides with Sheep Over Goats

Goat Hunt Paused in Grand Teton
Photo: NPS

The National Park Service has signed a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Mountain Goat Management Plan and Environmental Assessment at Grand Teton National Park. The purpose of the plan is first, to aid in the conservation of a native population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Teton Range whose status is tenuous, and second, protect other park resources and values from the rapidly growing non-native mountain goat population. Based on analysis in the environmental assessment and public comments, the decision allows the National Park Service to rapidly remove non-native mountain goats from the park by lethal and non-lethal methods. The decision also includes the use of qualified volunteers to assist in ground-based lethal removal activities. Mountain goats threaten the native Teton Range bighorn sheep herd through increased risk of pathogen transmission and potential for competition. The Teton Range is home to a small herd currently estimated at approximately 100 native bighorn sheep; one of the smaller and most isolated in Wyoming. Consequently, the Teton Range herd of native bighorn sheep is of high conservation value to the park, adjacent land and wildlife managers, and visitors.





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