Mard Neidig
The National Park Service and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have signed an agreement transplant desert bighorn sheep in the park to mitigate the spread of disease and support other herds around the state.

ZION NATIONAL PARK — The National Park Service and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have signed an agreement transplant desert bighorn sheep in the park to mitigate the spread of disease and support other herds around the state.

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The agreement comes after a public comment period ended Sept. 25, and the plan was found to have no significant impact to the park.

According to a statement from the National Park Service, bighorn sheep were reintroduced to the park in 1973. The population grew slowly until about 2008, when there was a rapid increase in the number of sheep in the park.

Officials say the biggest threat to the park’s bighorn sheep is disease. Without displaying symptoms themselves, domestic sheep and goats can carry strains of pneumonia that are catastrophic to bighorn herds.