Emergency Closure Implemented on Mount Ellinor Trail #812

Release Date: Jul 3, 2012  

Contact(s): Quilcene Ranger District, 360-765-2200

Olympia, WA – To ensure public safety, an emergency closure has been implemented on the Mount Ellinor Trail #812, located on the Hood Canal District of Olympic National Forest, approximately 18 miles northwest of Hoodsport, on Forest Road 2419. Several aggressive mountain goat encounters have occurred in the past two days, prompting this action.

“Mountain goats are powerful, inquisitive, wild animals, but they are not generally aggressive by nature,” said Wildlife Biologist Kurt Aluzas. “We believe their recent behavior is because this year’s deep snowpack has confined the goats to trailside areas in combination with a seasonally high demand for minerals (salts) and their habituation to people. There is also the potential that the Nanny goats are being protective of their young.”

Both the upper and lower portions of Mount Ellinor Trail #812 will remain closed for at least two weeks. The Upper Big Creek and Mount Rose trails remain open.

“The Mount Ellinor Trail rises above timberline, providing extensive views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound, making it a popular destination for many summer visitors,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Amanda McAdams. “But public safety must remain our utmost concern and the public’s cooperation will be appreciated for the duration of this closure.”

At this time, no lethal actions are planned; the situation will be monitored and the closure will be re-evaluated again in two weeks to determine if it should continue.

For additional information, please contact the Quilcene Ranger District at 360-765-2200. Check the Olympic National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/olympic for information about alternative recreational opportunities.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.