Since we have gotten on the topic of bighorn sheep protection...here is a link to an AP story about shooting mountain goats in Grand Teton National Park for bighorn protection.
There are two interesting things about this.. first, that species are “invasive” if they expand their ranges since when (pre-European settlement? Do we actually know what their ranges were then? When do we think like this? What about these cutthroat trout.. are they “invasive”- perhaps not because they didn’t get their on their own power?
The second interesting thing is that non-motorized recreation is apparently also not good for bighorns in this case:
The bighorn sheep herd, by contrast, is considered fragile. They have been pushed out of some of their best habitat by backcountry skiing activity, and their existence is threatened by potential disease transmission by the mountain goats.
Does anyone know if the Park is reducing or eliminating backcountry skiing to protect bighorns?
This Denver news story says that
The Grand Teton National Park Foundation called its mountain goats “perhaps the biggest ecological threat to the area in modern history” to the park in 2014.
but the link didn’t work so I couldn’t check.
Here are some local details from the Idaho State Journal:
Because shotguns will be blasting from helicopters to kill mountain goats in Grand Teton National Park during the coming week, a temporary area closure for the public is being implemented in the central part of the park.
The closure is slated for Sunday through Jan. 12 and is bounded on the south by the South, Middle, Grand Teton, Mount Owen and Teewinot Mountain peaks; on the west by the park boundary; on the east by the western shores of Jackson, Leigh, String and Jenny lakes; and on the north by Rolling Thunder Mountain and Eagle Rest peaks.
“No public access will be allowed in the area during this time,” the park said in a news release. “Signs will be posted at main access locations.”