Wyoming officials oppose mountain goat plan Grand Teton NP managers want to use aerial gunning to el

A mountain goat high on a mountain ridge (CBS 2 File Photo)

JACKSON, Wyo. — Wyoming wildlife managers are criticizing plans by Grand Teton National Park to shoot nonnative mountain goats by helicopter.

Inclement weather has so far prevented the aerial gunning, though park officials recently closed off a wide area of the Teton Range where shooting is to occur.

“Having government personnel kill mountain goats from helicopters and leaving them to rot and be wasted is unacceptable,” Wyoming Game and Fish Commission President David Rael wrote acting park Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail in a recent letter.

The commission on Monday approved a resolution opposing the plans, favoring the use of volunteers to hunt the goats on the ground. The governor-appointed commission sets official policies and procedures for wildlife management, including hunting seasons and quotas, across Wyoming.

The commission’s opposition hasn’t led to any change in plans for this winter, park spokeswoman Denise Germann said Thursday.

Noojibail and Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik have been discussing the goat removal program.

“We do plan to continue with the aerial, lethal removal,” Germann said. “We need to move quickly.”