Mountain goat

A mountain goat stands atop a rock.

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed authorizing the National Park Service and partner agencies to relocate mountain goats from the Olympics to the North Cascades.

The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Olympic and Okanogan-Wenatchee national forests released Friday a draft record of decision regarding the state’s mountain goat populations.

The Forest Service supports the proposal announced in June by the National Park Service, state Department of Fish & Wildlife and other agencies that have been working on plans to address problematic, nonnative mountain goats in the Olympics and to increase the number of mountain goats in the North Cascades, where they are native.

The plan is to move about 50 percent of the goats in the Olympics — about 360 — and kill the rest, according to the environmental impact statement, or EIS, the agencies released in May.

The goats captured in the Olympics would be released at 12 sites in the North Cascades. Up to 102 mountain goats could be released at three sites in Skagit County — Snowking, Buckindy and Tower mountains — according to the EIS.

The Forest Service approval of the plan is open for a public comment until Aug. 27.

During that time, those who commented during the EIS process may submit an objection to the plan, according to a news release.

Objections can be mailed to Objection Reviewing Officer, Region 6 Regional Forester, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service, 1320 SW Third Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, or submitted online at cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?Project=49816.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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