Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Monday lauded a decision to halt planned aerial gunning of mountain goats in Grand Teton National Park.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt issued the order late Friday. The call came after Gordon issued a "strongly-worded" letter to Gopaul Noojibail, the acting Grand Teton Park superintendent.

“I appreciate the excellent working relationship we have with Secretary Bernhardt and that he is willing to discuss this issue in more detail without the pressure of ongoing aerial hunting,” Governor Gordon said in a written statement. “I look forward to a more fruitful conversation about better ways to address this issue in a more cooperative manner.”

The aerial gunning operation was intended to cull a goat herd that could potentially spread diseases to native bighorn sheep in the area.

Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioners passed a resolution in January condemning the use of aerial gunning to remove the goats from the Targhee herd. Instead, the department urged the park to use skilled volunteers for goat removal.

Game and fish head Brian Nesvik also requested the plan be stopped on Friday and cited public opposition.

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