One of the Northwest Region's most-scenic and popular hiking trails is off limits to recreationists this Labor Day, not due to wildfire but because of aggressive goats.
Rangers are spending their weekend "harassing aggressive mountain goats" in an attempt to avoid people on the Olympic National Forest trail. Rangers have been throwing rocks at the goats, shooting them with paintballs, spraying chemicals and sounding obnoxious horns, but to no avail.
The Peninsula Daily News reports that people became part of the problem by feeding the goats or letting the animals lick their hands or backpacks for salt.
Meanwhile, violating the trail-closure order could bring a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and six months in jail.
Aggressive goats aren't a laughing matter. A Port Angeles man was fatally gored in October 2010 by a 360-pound mountain goat on the Olympic National Park trail. The goat was believed to have harassed hikers in the park for years.