Wildlife officials plan to once again fly mountain goats from Olympic National Park back to their native habitat in the North Cascades this week.
“Mountain goat relocation will allow these animals to reoccupy historical range areas in the Cascades and increase population viability,” U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Biologist Jesse Plumage said in a statement.
Teams using helicopters, tranquilizer darts, and net guns captured 115 goats during a two-week period in September 2018, releasing 98 back into the wild. The goats were transported using special slings to staging areas in the North Cascades.
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There are two two-week operations planned this summer that will impact Olympic National Park visitors. The first is July 8-19 and the second is August 19-30.
Hurricane Hill Road, beyond the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center parking lot, will be closed to all access during both operational periods. The Hurricane Hill Trail, Little River Trail, and Wolf Creek Trail will also be closed, the National Park Service said.
The Klahhane Ridge area will temporarily close for visitor and employee safety on July 8 and 9 during the operation.
Several other areas in the park will be closed to hiking and overnight camping during the two operations.