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It is no wonder we have so much trouble pleading the case for pack goats to the government beaurocrats. The government shutdown has exposed many of them to be the chest-out, little-man-syndrome rent-a-cops we always suspected they were. One of them even admitted he was under orders to cause as much grief to the public as possible. I'm hearing reports of armed guards in Yellowstone holding people hostage in the hotels and following busses of fleeing tourists to make sure nobody stops to take a picture. Trails that have never seen a visit from a government employee are suddenly roped off, with a dozen armed enforcers hiding out looking to ticket and fine anyone that bypasses their yellow tape.

I know, I know. "Government is never your friend" is a solid gold truth, but I always wanted to believe that there were a few that got in to the biz of looking after the *public's* land because they loved the land and wanted to help. Instead they seem very enthusiastic about screwing with veterans that want to visit their *own* memorial, or dragging people to Federal court because they snuck in to see the Grand Canyon.

Sorry guys. Respect 100% lost. Until I see a bunch get together and write some huge apology or "It wasnt us at this park! We're cool." then I'm going to consider them the enemy. Same as some cliche' small town speed-trap cop in the Bible Belt that thinks he rules the place. I swear, our ancestors would laugh at the idea of "closing the outdoors" because some government employee was on a paid vacation. They'd laugh at us for even having so many government employees in the first place. "What? 75 people with epic pensions to "run" a mountain?" Of course we can blame the ancestors for allowing DC to "own" a single acre outside of DC.

end rant.
 

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We were in Utah this past week, and I say you've hit the nail on the head! You'd think, with everything shut down, they would just lock the bathrooms and leave it. But noooooo! They've got to lock all the gates to the parking lots because you know those parking lots need 24-hour surveillance during government shut-downs (and only during government shut-downs), and right now they just don't have the manpower so they've got to lock us pesky hikers out! As for all the parking lots without gates, well, the public can't be trusted to use those either. So they put up traffic cones and "Parking Lot CLOSED" signs because, you know, it costs government money that they just don't have if people use a parking lot that's already there.

And then there was Hole-in-the-Rock Road. It's a public road, but it leads to all the FS and BLM land that people like to hike on. So they pay some Barney Fife to stand there and stop all traffic and ask everyone where they are going. I expected to be asked, "Papers, please!" and then given a "Heil Hitler!" just for good measure. It wasn't any of his business where I was going or why I was bringing goats. He was very unsure about the goats and looked for a moment as if he might give us a problem about them, but then he couldn't think of any particular rule in the handbook so he waved us on. As if we needed his "permission" to drive on that road!

We didn't happen to be going to any of the trails where the parking lots were blocked, but if we had been, there would have been a few traffic cones and CLOSED signs that somehow ended up in the bottom of a remote canyon somewhere. No one should have to put up with this kind of crap. I hear the folks in Utah are talking about trying to take their federal lands and National Parks back. I hope they do. If the feds can't manage the land properly they need to turn over control to someone who can. There's no excuse for them to behave this way, and if I were a public official who were told to harass the tourists, you can bet I'd be out there doing everything in my power to do just the opposite. Heck, if I had to stand there all day anyhow, I'd probably just open up the facilities and do some janitorial work after closing. It costs the government no more to pay their guys to act like public SERVANTS than it does to behave like a bunch of pricks.

/end rant
 

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I agree with everything said except I do not believe Utah should be given control of the federal lands. While they should be allowed to pay with state money to keep the parks open, I live in Utah, the federal government should not release control to Utah. There has been talk of doing this for awhile now, Utah even sued the federal government, but Utah's primary goal in gaining control of federal lands is for oil and gas leases, that I believe would destroy many valuable areas that are not currently closed off.
 

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Public Apology

I would like to publicly apologize for my last post if I offended anyone. I am a God fearing man that respects authority. I love The Lord and my family and I have the upmost respect for those that God has placed in authority positions. I'm still trying to learn how to keep my mouth shut. It's just so easy to get frustrated when we see important issues become miss managed. I'll keep things Goat related from here on. Please except my apology.

"Long Live The Pack Goat"

Curtis King
 
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