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PostFri Sep 07, 2018 12:45 pm 
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Friday September 07, 2018 12:18 PDT

Olympic National Park New Release

Agencies Plan to Start Translocating Mountain Goats From the Olympics


Starting September 10, a coalition of state and federal agencies, with support from local tribes, will begin translocating mountain goats from Olympic National Park to the northern Cascade Mountains to meet wildlife management goals in both areas.

This effort to translocate mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula is a partnership between the National Park Service (NPS), the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) to re-establish and assist in connecting depleted populations of mountain goats in the Washington Cascades.

Area tribes lending support to the translocation plan in the Cascades include the Lummi, Muckleshoot, Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, Swinomish, Tulalip, and Upper Skagit tribes.

In May, the NPS released the final Mountain Goat Management Plan which outlines the effort to remove the estimated 725 mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula. Both the plan and the associated environmental impact statement were finalized after an extensive public review process which began in 2014.

This month’s two-week effort to move mountain goats to native habitat in the northern Cascades is the first translocation operation since the release of the final Mountain Goat Management Plan. Two additional two-week periods are planned for next year. Mountain goats were introduced to the Olympics in the 1920s.

“Mountain goat relocation will allow these animals to reoccupy historical range areas in the Cascades and increase population viability,” said Jesse Plumage, USFS Wildlife Biologist.

While some mountain goat populations in the north Cascades have recovered since the 1990s, the species is still absent from many areas of its historic range.

Aerial capture operations will be conducted through a contract with a private company that specializes in the capture and transport of wild animals. The helicopter crew will use tranquilizer darts and net guns to capture mountain goats and transport them in specially made slings to the staging area on Hurricane Hill Road beyond the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center in Olympic National Park. The staging area will be closed to public access.

The animals will be examined by veterinarians before WDFW wildlife managers transport them overnight to staging areas in the north Cascades for release the following day.

During this first round, WDFW will only translocate goats from the park to non-wilderness release sites in the Cascades. There will be no closures for release operations in the national forests in 2018. To maximize success, goats will be brought directly to alpine habitats that have been selected for appropriate characteristics. To access these areas, goats will be airlifted in their crates by helicopter.

WDFW plans to release the mountain goats at five selected sites in the Cascades this month. Two release areas are near mountain peaks south of the town of Darrington, on the Darrington District of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (MBS). The others are near Mt. Index, on the Skykomish Ranger District of the MBS, Tower Peak in the Methow area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and the headwaters of the Cedar River Drainage, which is land owned by Seattle Public Utilities.

“The translocation effort will relieve issues with non-native mountain goats in the Olympics while bolstering depleted herds in the northern Cascades,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “Mountain goats cause significant impacts to the park ecosystem as well as public safety concerns.”

Mountain goats follow and approach hikers because they are attracted to the salt from their sweat, urine, and food. That behavior is less likely in the north Cascades where visitors are more widely distributed than those at Olympic National Park, said Rich Harris, a WDFW wildlife manager who specializes in mountain goats.

“In addition, the north Cascades has an abundance of natural salt licks, while the Olympic Peninsula has virtually none,” Harris said. “Natural salt licks greatly reduce mountain goats’ attraction to people.”

For more information about mountain goats in Washington State, see WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/mountain_goats.html.

Along with the staging area closure on Hurricane Hill Road, several trails in Olympic National Park will be closed for visitor and employee safety during helicopter operations. For more information and updates, visit www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/mountain-goat-capture-and-translocation.htm.

-NPS-
-WDFW-
-USFS-

=========================================================

Friday September 07, 2018 12:14 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Agencies plan to start translocating mountain goats from the Olympics


Starting September 10, a coalition of state and federal agencies, with support from local tribes, will begin translocating mountain goats from Olympic National Park to the northern Cascade Mountains to meet wildlife management goals in both areas.

This effort to translocate mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula is a partnership between the National Park Service (NPS), the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) to re-establish and assist in connecting depleted populations of mountain goats in the Washington Cascades.

Area tribes lending support to the translocation plan in the Cascades include the Lummi, Muckleshoot, Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, Swinomish, Tulalip, and Upper Skagit tribes.

In May, the NPS released the final Mountain Goat Management Plan which outlines the effort to remove the estimated 725 mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula. Both the plan and the associated environmental impact statement were finalized after an extensive public review process which began in 2014.

This month’s two-week effort to move mountain goats to native habitat in the northern Cascades is the first translocation operation since the release of the final Mountain Goat Management Plan. Two additional two-week periods are planned for next year. Mountain goats were introduced to the Olympics in the 1920s.

“Mountain goat relocation will allow these animals to reoccupy historical range areas in the Cascades and increase population viability,” said Jesse Plumage, USFS Wildlife Biologist.

While some mountain goat populations in the north Cascades have recovered since the 1990s, the species is still absent from many areas of its historic range.

Aerial capture operations will be conducted through a contract with a private company that specializes in the capture and transport of wild animals. The helicopter crew will use tranquilizer darts and net guns to capture mountain goats and transport them in specially made slings to the staging area on Hurricane Hill Road beyond the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center in Olympic National Park. The staging area will be closed to public access.

The animals will be examined by veterinarians before WDFW wildlife managers transport them overnight to staging areas in the north Cascades for release the following day.

During this first round, WDFW will only translocate goats from the park to non-wilderness release sites in the Cascades. There will be no closures for release operations in the national forests in 2018. To maximize success, goats will be brought directly to alpine habitats that have been selected for appropriate characteristics. To access these areas, goats will be airlifted in their crates by helicopter.

WDFW plans to release the mountain goats at five selected sites in the Cascades this month. Two release areas are near mountain peaks south of the town of Darrington, on the Darrington District of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (MBS). The others are near Mt. Index, on the Skykomish Ranger District of the MBS, Tower Peak in the Methow area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and the headwaters of the Cedar River Drainage, which is land owned by Seattle Public Utilities.

“The translocation effort will relieve issues with non-native mountain goats in the Olympics while bolstering depleted herds in the northern Cascades,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “Mountain goats cause significant impacts to the park ecosystem as well as public safety concerns.”

Mountain goats follow and approach hikers because they are attracted to the salt from their sweat, urine, and food. That behavior is less likely in the north Cascades where visitors are more widely distributed than those at Olympic National Park, said Rich Harris, a WDFW wildlife manager who specializes in mountain goats.

“In addition, the north Cascades has an abundance of natural salt licks, while the Olympic Peninsula has virtually none,” Harris said. “Natural salt licks greatly reduce mountain goats’ attraction to people.”

For more information about mountain goats in Washington state, see WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/mountain_goats.html.

Along with the staging area closure on Hurricane Hill Road, several trails in Olympic National Park will be closed for visitor and employee safety during helicopter operations. For more information and updates, visit www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/mountain-goat-capture-and-translocation.htm.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html.

-WDFW-
-NPS-
-USFS-

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostSat Sep 29, 2018 11:38 pm 
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Wednesday September 26, 2018 15:03 PDT

For Immediate Release

Mountain Goat Capture and Translocation Activities Complete for 2018

Monday, September 24 marked the final day for a two-week long capture and translocation process which moved 98 mountain goats from Olympic National Park to the northern Cascade Mountains. Two additional two-week periods are planned for 2019. Capture and translocation may continue into 2020 depending on the results of the efforts in 2019.

This effort to translocate mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula is a coalition between the National Park Service (NPS), the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) to re-establish and assist in connecting depleted populations of mountain goats in the Washington Cascades. While some mountain goat populations in the north Cascades have recovered since the 1990s, the species is still absent or rare from many areas of its historic range.

Overall, 115 mountain goats were removed from the population in the park. Of these, 98 were translocated to the northern Cascade Mountains including 11 kids which were released with their nannies. Six mountain goat kids that could not be paired up with their mothers were transferred to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.  There were six adult mortalities related to capture, two adult mortalities which occurred during transport the first day, and three animals which were euthanized because they were unfit for translocation.

Capture Total: 115
# Translocated : males 30 females 68

NW Trek 6
Capture Mortalities 6
Transport Mortalities 2
Euthanized 3

“The success of this year’s translocation effort is thanks to the cooperation and expertise of more than 175 people, including 77 volunteers from WDFW,” said Olympic National Park Wildlife Branch Chief Dr. Patti Happe. “The collaboration with our partner agencies and the support from everyone involved was phenomenal.”

Aerial capture operations were conducted through a contract with a private company, Leading Edge Aviation, which specializes in the capture of wild animals. The helicopter crew used tranquilizer darts and net guns to capture mountain goats and transported them in specially made slings to the staging area on Hurricane Hill Road. Due to weather, the helicopter crew was only able to operate for 10 out of the 14 days, and several of those days ended early.

The animals were examined by veterinarians before WDFW wildlife managers transported them overnight to staging areas in the north Cascades for release the following day.

WDFW released mountain goats at five selected sites in the Cascades with the help of tribal and University biologists, and of Hi-Line Aviation of Darrington, Washington. Two of the release areas were near mountain peaks south of the town of Darrington, on the Darrington District of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The others sites were located northwest of Kachess Lake (just south of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness) in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Tower Peak in the Methow area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and the headwaters of the Cedar River Drainage, which is land owned by Seattle Public Utilities.

In May, the NPS released the final Mountain Goat Management Plan which outlines the effort to remove the estimated 725 mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula. Both the plan and the associated environmental impact statement were finalized after an extensive public review process which began in 2014. Area tribes lending support to the translocation effort in the Cascades include the Lummi, Muckleshoot, Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, Swinomish, Tulalip, and Upper Skagit tribes.

For more information about mountain goats in Washington State, see WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/mountain_goats.html.

Penny Wagner, Olympic National Park, 360-565-3004
Tracy O’Toole, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, 425-783-6015
Deborah Kelly, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, 509-664-9247
Susan Garner, Olympic National Forest, 360-956-2390
Rachel Blomker, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, 360-701-3101

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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