Mountain goats to be relocated to North Cascades

Roger Harnack

State and federal agencies will begin moving mountain goats from Olympic National Park to the North Cascades on July 8.
Mountain goats were introduced to the Olympics in the 1920s, but are native to the Cascades.
"Mountain goat relocation will allow these animals to reoccupy historical range areas in the Cascades and increase population viability," U.S. Forest Service biologist Jesse Plumage said.
Leading Edge Aviation, which specializes in aerial capture and transport of wild animals, will lead the capture effort.
A helicopter crew will use tranquilizer darts and net guns, officials said, noting the capture effort will extend into August.
This month, the crew will target goats on Klahane Ridge and Appleton Pass, including the Seven Lakes Basin, officials said. In August, the capture effort will focus on Mount Ellinor.
The staging areas this month will be on Hurricane Ridge Road near the visitor center and the Hamma Hamma area, officials said. Next month, staging will be at Mount Ellinor.
Staging areas are closed to the public.
Captured goats will be released at six North Cascades sites: Chikamin, Preacher Mountain, Hardscrabble Ridge, two areas near Darrington and in the Skykomoish Ridge Ranger District of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
This is the second year the agencies have captured and relocated goats.
Last year, 115 mountain goats were relocated to the North Cascades.