Grand Teton National Park will begin eradicating a herd of non-native mountain goats on Monday and some areas of the park will be closed while contractors use aircraft to accomplish their task.
The closure area will be marked by signage and no public access will be allowed in the area north of the South Teton to Rolling Thunder and Eagle Rest Peaks and west of String and Jenny Lakes.
The National Park Service is implementing a recently finalized management plan to remove nonnative mountain goats from the park via lethal and nonlethal means in order to aid in the conservation of a native and vulnerable population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Teton Range.
Mountain goats are not native to Grand Teton National Park and they threaten the native Teton Range bighorn sheep herd through increased risk of disease and competition for food.
Beginning Monday, helicopter-based lethal removal efforts will be initiated, as weather conditions allow. Removal activities will be performed by a qualified contractor in the area between Cascade and Snowshoe Canyons where the majority of the mountain goats are located.
Park officials say the mountain goat population is currently estimated at 100 animals; a size where complete removal is achievable in a short time.
The goats within the park are likely descended from a population that was introduced outside the park boundaries.