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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are deciding if we want to ask for a day or an overnight for the one trail, hence the discrepancy in times.

Packgoat Proposal for the Wind River Area

The North American Packgoat Association (NAPgA) was formed in 1998 to
further the use and enjoyment of the backcountry with the aid of a small,
environmentally sound, more easily managed pack animal. Our membership is a
very diverse user group with the common thread of backcountry recreation
through the use of pack goats. We have members who fish, hunt, day hike, and
pack, many of whom who are unable to use horses or llamas due to the
physical requirements and safety concerns associated with larger animals.
Our members often have disabilities that severely limit or prevent them from
carrying a pack into the backcountry, or are simply outdoor enthusiast with
young children that often need to carry more gear than can be accommodated
by parents and children.

The diversity of the pack goat community creates an overlap with other
forest uses in Shoshone and many other National Forests. We are deeply
concerned with the possibility of a closure that would deny access to the
world famous beauty of Shoshone National Forest for such a diverse
multiple-user group.

Our veterinary advisors (DO WE WANT TO INCLUDE NAMES?) assure us that pack
goats under human control are a separate and distinct group from domestic
sheep and goats that are run in an allotment situation. They continue to
tell us that we are not a threat and advise us that packstringing and
highlining are more than adequate to prevent disease transmission. Further,
the number of pack goats using the areas in question would be very small
compared to the number of free range animals in a pasturing situation.

WAYS TO ACCOMMODATE PACKGOATS IN THE WINDS

First of all, we have a number of members who are willing to form a USFS
Wilderness Steward Program to work with this. The Wilderness
Steward/Wilderness Ranger program is well known in many FS districts and can
provide free manpower to implement programs that can't be paid for out of
Forest Service funding. We can provide education, tracking of goat usage,
trailhead education and backcountry observation and policing. This gives you
a way to manage packgoats that doesn't require use of funding. Further, the
North American Packgoat Association already has in place education for
goatpackers and can provide things like tracking collars to collect data and
access via the Internet and Goat Tracks Magazine to a the main base of goat
packers who would likely be interested in coming to this area and are
looking for information.

Here are the solutions we would like to see implemented:
Issue a temporary closure on loose herding of domestic sheep and brush
goats.

Packgoats are allowed, but must be on a packstring and contained at night,
with either highlining or electric bear fencing. Health certificates
mandatory (which they are now anyway). The husbandry practices of packgoats
are such that we vaccinate, we worm, we only go in with 2, or 3 or 6, etc.
goats under direct control, instead of 3000 free ranging goats.

We suggest NAPgA's setting up a program to rent GPS collars to those who
will pass through sensitive areas such as the core bighorn sheep habitat
regions. Data from this project could be used to track information about
actual pack goat use in these areas. One possible solution right now could
be that NAPgA purchases GPS collars for stock permittees, have the
permittees rent them for $50 per week, make sure that highlining is
mandatory at night, and a packstring is used when crossing Bighorn Sheep
core habitat areas. Health Certificates are already required in the State of
Wyoming.

One night stay maximum along the Glacier Trail in the Winds. Only one night
is required in that area in order to make it up and over Horse Ridge the
next day. Use the trail for passage only. Require pack stringing during the
day, high lining or electric bear fencing in these areas at night. We would
not have access to the sensitive Whiskey Mountain region, Middle Mountain,
etc.
Have a right of way through the Glacier Trail, but only allow it to be used
as a pass through with no camping. This gives access to the Dry Creek
Drainage down to the Ink Wells Trail. This can easily be done in one day.

That NAPgA provide the USFS with brochures and handouts stating the proper
ways to packstring and highline and to provide other management information
as needed. This can be made available to the Forest Service offices that are
affected by these rules.

We believe that the above items will remove any potential risk and provide a
proactive program so that big horn and packgoats can co-exist in this area.
We have members ready and willing to help.
 

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This looks great Caroline. I kind of feel like mentioning that we came out there last summer to do stuff for them, to no avail, and wouldn't it have been nice if we could have shown the forest service officials involved in this in person who we are and what our quiet, low impact camping looks like, and been able to discuss this. But I won't mention it in my letter.
 

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I presume you are looking for feedback. If so, here are a couple of thoughts based on how I read the letter:

I think it would be good to list the vet’s names.

“Our veterinary advisors (DO WE WANT TO INCLUDE NAMES?) assure us that pack
goats under human control are a separate and distinct group from domestic
sheep and goats that are run in an allotment situation.â€

I would say: “…are a separate and distinct management situation, compared to large herds of sheep or goats that are run in an grazing allotment type situation.â€

**
“Here are the solutions we would like to see implemented:
Issue a temporary closure on loose herding of domestic sheep and brush
goats.

Packgoats are allowed, but must be on a packstring and contained at night,
with either highlining or electric bear fencing.â€

Do you intend that packgoats be tied / on lead 100% of the time? Or, do you want to allow un-tethered (loose) browsing at lunch breaks or around camp such as in the morning or evening? That could be considered ‘loose herding’. I think the wording of the proposed solution could be read as requiring that packgoats be tied / on lead 100% of the time.

Number of goats in the group, such as a maximum of 12, might be a way to distinguish between pack goat use and the large herds of sheep or goats which are there for grazing.

Also, for night containment do you want to allow lowlining or picketing (tied to a ground stake)?

Do you want to propose restricting packgoat use to wethers only?

I hope this is helpful,

Perry
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually we have been asked not to use vet's names, they are all afraid of being sued like Dr BUlgin was. She was exonerated, however and we plan to take the article from the Idaho post that not only says that but gets a shot in that she doesn't think it's disease from sheep that's killing the big horns. That was a first draft note about using names but we apparently can't.. We even tried to get Dr Drew to write a letter and he couldn't.

We may have to concede that goats all be on leads all the time. We'll see. Your other additions are spot on and I do like the idea of limiting it to wethers.

Thanks for your input.We need all the help we can get.
 
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