Helicopter shooting of Teton mountain goats called off

Grand Teton National Park seeks to remove invasive mountain goats from the park. ©Brad Smith

The National Park Service backed off plans to use aerial shooting to remove invasive mountain goats from Grand Teton National Park after Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon wrote a sharply worded letter opposing it. The park has a small, isolated population of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), which use the same resources as mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus). Park officials considered aerial operations the most effective way to reduce the population on the steep terrain. Initial operations took 36 mountain goats before being called off, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports. The NPS seeks to remove about 100 mountain goats. State wildlife officials have advocated for a skilled volunteer program to remove goats from the ground.

Read more from the Associated Press here.