Olympics to review goat options after 2010 attack

SEATTLE — Four years after a mountain goat fatally gored a hiker in Olympic National Park, officials are looking at ways to manage mountain goats to protect public safety and the environment.

The National Park Service is evaluating preliminary options, including capturing and relocating the goats to the Washington Cascades, increasing hazing activities, killing them, doing nothing, or some combination of those approaches.

Robert Boardman, 63, of Port Angeles, was fatally attacked in October 2010 by a 370-pound mountain goat on a popular trail in Olympic National Park, about 75 miles west of Seattle. He was trying to protect his wife and a friend when the goat gored him, severing arteries in his thigh.

The goat was believed to have been one that harassed park visitors for years. Boardman’s widow, Susan Chadd, later sued the federal government for negligence in its management of the goat, but a federal judge in Tacoma eventually dismissed her claims.

Rangers shot the aggressive goat later that day. An exam done on the goat showed no disease or other significant health issues.

Mountain goats, which are not native to Olympic National Park, have long posed a problem for park officials.

Helicopters were used in the 1980s to capture and remove the goats because they were damaging the park’s fragile alpine vegetation and soil.

But the fatal attack in 2010 has raised new concerns about the goats’ presence, the park said Monday in announcing that it is preparing an environmental impact statement on its goat-management plan.

About a dozen goats were introduced to the Olympic Mountains in the 1920s, before the park was established in 1938. By 1983, the numbers grew to more than 1,100. About 300 goats graze the park’s alpine meadows and roam its rocky peaks, though the population is increasing.

Olympic National Park updated its overarching policy on nuisance animals, including mountain goats, in 2011. That plan outlined a range of actions to take in response to increasing levels of aggressive goat behavior. It includes using noise deterrents such as sirens to lethal removal.

In 2011, under those new guidelines, park rangers shot and killed a mountain goat near the park’s eastern boundary after it showed aggressive behavior at a camping area.

There have been no other goat attacks reported since 2010.

“What we’re starting today is a plan that would look at overall management of the population across the entire park,” said Barbara Maynes, an Olympic Park spokeswoman.

Three public meetings are scheduled next month in Seattle, Olympia and Port Angeles.

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Camano Island man gets 18 years for role in drug ring

He was convicted of helping lead a drug distribution network in four Washington counties.

Lake Stevens man missing since beginning of January

Jason Michael Knox White hasn’t used his credit card or withdrawn money from his bank since then.

Deal reached on water bill clears way for action on capital budget

A lot of funding will to go toward housing, schools and projects in Snohomish County and statewide.

Stormy weather knocks out power to parts of Everett

About 3,700 PUD customers lost electricity in Snohomish County early Thursday morning.

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Most Read