This is something I have wanted to know and there is not a central place to find out. If we post specific regs here, can someone make them into a FAQ or index or something?
Zions National Park : Prohibited.
Â§2.16 Horses and Pack Animals
(a) ... â€œPack animalsâ€, for purposes of 36 CFR 2.16(a) are defined as mules and burros. Llamas, goats, dogs, and all other animals are specifically excluded for use as pack animals within Zion National Park.
It depends. I went to one USFS ranger station and asked if they had a policy on packgoats. They handed me an official USFS pamphlet about using pack animals. All it talked about were horses and mules, and how they had to be tied up, highlined, etc, all the time, and couldn't eat so much as a blade of grass. You had to pack in all their food. I asked another ranger district not too far away, and got the same response. I can see why they would have such rules because I've packed in with horse people before and I've seen how much damage they can do. But the Forest Service people weren't interested, or were hog tied by the regulations. So trying to talk to them about how goats are different, are much lower impact, etc. was pointless. There's the book, and that's how it is.
Where I live there's a different ranger station nearby. They know I day hike and pack in all the time around here. And they've never shown me "the book". In fact the people I've encountered thought the goats were kind-a cool. I volunteered (even filled out official paperwork) to assist in trail maintenance jobs by packing in food, water, etc. The guy I dealt with was very glad to set it up. We'll see how it goes, but so far so good.
By the way, I still go to those other places. And the field people I've run into (not the office guy or lady handing out pamphlets), had no problem with my goats. Some even saw the benefit of them eating up some of the brush and little trees that make the forest around here so prone to bad forest fires.
As long as the "don't ask - don't tell" policy is working for me, I'm a happy goat packer. But I don't expect to see "the book" change.
The basic rule of law is that if it is not prohibited, then it is permitted. The rules that apply specifically to horses, mules, dogs, etc. have no application to goats.
The problem only arises if they are specifically prohibited.
So look for verbiage like domestic animals, pets, goats, etc.
Even if some of these are specifically prohibited, you still may be legal if they can be considered service animals.
In Zion, the literature specifically says the only reason horses and mules are allowed is that they are historically documented to be part of the wilderness. It has nothing to do with what damage they might do.
In the watershed here they prohibit domestic animals from being at large (which means loose) but they try to extend it to animals that are under control as well. Currently I am not fighting with them since I prefer to be on their good side. But if they won't budge in their opinion, I will likely let a judge decide. The enforcement officer cannot cite a specific ordinance that he would ticket me under.
A don't ask, don't tell policy works well when traffic is light, and the likelihood of a confrontation is small, but I spend a lot of time in crowded areas and would like to plan trips at some distance which would be a great inconvenience if turned away at the start.
National forests at the national level allow packstock on equestrian trails. Goats are classified as packstock. DOn't tell them they are domestic animals aas they are not allowed. They are packstock. And all packstock rules apply. Unfortunately the off lead thing can apply but sometimes you can explain that they are not loose herded but under direct control llike an obedient dog would be off lead. Of course if there are leash laws then they apply.
NAPgA has a brochure on their website that can be used when talking to land managers about packgoats. It's very useful for opening a dialogue.
The term Pack Stock is used to include horses and mules which are ridden or packed, as well as llamas, pack goats and other live stock.
Special Area Restrictions for Stock Use in the Mokelumne Canyon:
1. The maximum number of stock per group for both day and overnight use is 12. Exceptions may be made for groups traveling through the Mokelumne Wilderness on the Pacific Crest Trail on a case by case basis. These exceptions will not exceed 25 animals per group.
2. Holding or confining stock within 200 feet of lakes, streams, and other water sources is prohibited. Confine stock away from camping areas.
3. In areas with active cattle allotments, stock grazing is not permitted before the cattle are brought on for the season. This date varies from year to year and can be confirmed by contacting the Calaveras Ranger District in Hathaway Pines at (209) 795-1381 or the Amador Ranger District in Pioneer at (209) 295-4251.
4. All feed brought into the Wilderness must be certified weed seed free, or processed feed such as alfalfa pellets or crimped oats. Stock users are encouraged to feed animals weed seed free feed for two days prior to a trip into the Wilderness.
5. Tying stock directly to trees is prohibited except during loading and unloading or while taking short rest breaks.
Stock use is prohibited in most of the Mokelumne Canyon with the following exceptions:
1. Stock use is permitted in lower Summit City Canyon from Telephone Gulch to the end of the maintained system trail (where the trail crosses Summit City Creek).
2. Stock use is permitted from the Hermit Valley Trailhead to approximately 1/2 mile below the crossing of Deer Creek.
3. Stock use is permitted along the Munson Meadow/Camp Irene/Lake Valley Corridor on a limited basis. Camping with stock is allowed only at Camp Irene. Length of stay limited to two nights. Number of stock limited to four animals. Only one party allowed at Camp Irene at one time. A special permit is required and may be obtained at the Calaveras or Amador Ranger District Offices.
4. This restriction on stock use in the Mokelumne Canyon does not apply to llamas and pack goats due to their smaller size and padded feet. A more detailed description of area restrictions on stock use in the Mokelumne Canyon is available on request.
5. Group size is limited to a combination of 12 people and livestock. The impacts of people and stock multiply in large groups. Smaller groups help to promote the feeling of solitude.
6. Hobbling, tethering, or allowing livestock to graze within 200 feet of any lake, stream, or trail is prohibited. With the goal of protecting water quality and fragile wet areas, this restriction also provides for solitude. Pack stock users should be careful not to allow their stock to graze in re-vegetation sites undergoing recovery. Tying or tethering pack stock to live trees is also prohibited.
7. Pack stock is prohibited on Blue Lake Trail 959 and within the Blue Lake Closure Zone from May 15 through September 15. Pack stock may not stay overnight within the Blue Lake Closure Zone from September 16 through May 14.
All wilderness users must have a
permit for wilderness use.
The following wilderness visitors must
obtain their permit from a Forest
Service Office: Groups with 8 or more
people, or any overnight stock use. Selfissued
wilderness permits are available at
trailheads for all other users.
Groups may not exceed 12 people and
14 head of stock May 1 â€" November
31. Smaller groups are recommended when
traveling off-trail to protect fragile areas.
Groups may not exceed 20 persons
and 14 head of stock December 1 â€"
Use proper stock containment
methods. If you must tie to live trees, limit it
to periods of less than one hour.
Stock is not to be tethered within 100
feet of springs, lakes and streams, nor
grazed within 200 yards of lake
shores. Keep bacteria out of water sources
and protect fragile lake and stream shores.
Packing in loose hay or straw is
prohibited. Using pelletized feed prevents the
introduction of weeds.
No stock is allowed in the Goat Creek
drainage (tributary of the S. Fk. of the
Payette) or Alpine Creek drainage
(near Alturas Lake). Help protect these
Stock is allowed in campsites only
when loading and unloading. Respect
It seems that the rationale for allowing equestrian but not goat is that horses were "traditionally" used in the wilderness.
If it could be documented that settlers or Indians used goats also, maybe we could get some of the parks opened up.
The best I can find is that in the early 1700's the Amish Explorer Yanni Sigismundensis departed with a goat cart to explore the West during his time of rumspringa without telling anyone and was never heard from again.
In the Primitive Zone, group size will be limited to 12 people and 12 pack animals. Within the Paria River corridor in the Primitive Zone, permits could be approved for groups over 12 people up to a maximum of 25 people.
Re: packing in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
The following conditions apply:
â€¢ All horses and pack animals must be fed weed-free feed for 48 hours in advance of and for the
duration of the trip within Glen Canyon NRA, except in the Orange Cliffs Unit where further
restrictions apply as stipulated in the required permit available through Canyonlands National
â€¢ Horses and pack animals may not be left unattended.
â€¢ No more than twelve horses or pack animals may be used by one group.
â€¢ Horses and pack animals must be tethered at least 300 feet from water sources and in a manner to
prevent damage to live trees or shrubs.
â€¢ In places where horses and pack animals are tethered, manure must be scattered at least 300 feet
from water sources, except in Orange Cliffs Unit where further restrictions apply as stipulated in
the required permit available through Canyonlands National Park.
*Pack Animal defined: For the purpose of this compendium, the term "pack animal" is defined as
horses, mules, burros, goats, and llamas.
The following areas are closed to horses and pack animals*:
â€¢ That area lying south of Lake Powell and the Colorado River west of Antelope Canyon .
â€¢ Development zones as shown in the 1979 General Management Plan (Lees Ferry, Antelope Point,
Wahweap-Stateline, Lone Rock, Bullfrog, Halls Crossing and Hite).
â€¢ Accessible Shoreline Area (Crosby Canyon, Upper and Lower Bullfrog, Stanton Creek and Farley
â€¢ Stevens Canyon, including Stevens Arch.
â€¢ Coyote Gulch.
â€¢ Alcoves and archeological sites.
It always amazes me how much use the "wilderness" areas get. We have hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest near our home. Next to all this National Forest land is the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness area. It gets much more use than the surrounding National Forest, even though much of the surrounding forest is just as scenic. Trails in the Bitterroot always have cars parked at the trail heads, horse and other stock use them constantly and week end hikers congregate in droves. A few miles away in the regular old National Forest, the trails are grown in from non use. Seems to me that "protecting" these areas by classifying them as wilderness inevitably brings national attention to them and as a result incurs much harsher environmental impacts due to the increased public use in the area.