Packgoats As An Asset
What projects have you done as a group or individually to help your community or the Forest Service, etc? What projects have been done at Rendys?

I think it is important to not only fight the closure battle on the scientific front but to also show the positive aspects of goatpackers and their goats.

We practice "Leave No Trace"
Packgoats tread more lightly on the earth than any other pack animal.
Not all goats are capable of becoming a packgoat. They are selected for conformation and attitude.

What else can you add to this?
Goatberries Happen!
This is an excellent thread. Sometimes we can get so caught up with defending our goats, that we don't take the time to be pro-active with the "good".

A few years ago we called the Forest Service in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and volunteered to clear 5 miles miles of trail through a burn area. We took our chain saws and hand saws and cut dozens of logs that had fallen across the trail. We were worn out by the end of the day, but we had a good feeling knowing that we had given back to the forest and weren't just "takers". I plan on doing that more in the future.
I like that idea VG. A shame the nearest forest for me is 80 miles away... But some locale river shore clean ups would be a good thing. Will have to add that to the pack goat club when we get up and running.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale.

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
Here are a few things I have come up with that are positive attributes and reasons why packgoats are GREAT!

Practice Leave No Trace.

Packgoats tread lightly on the earth. The impact of their hoof print and feeding habits are minimal.

Packgoats are trained to look to their herd leader (a human) for guidance and support. They do not want to disperse. They want to stay together in a herd for safety.

Packgoats are not commercial herds of goats. They are well trained animals who assist us in our hiking, hunting, fishing and camping by carrying supplies, gear, game we have harvested and even our children.

Packgoats can subsist on available vegetation. Hay and other feeds which may contain invasive weeds or non-native vegetation do not need to be carried in for feed.

Hiking/walking is listed as one of the top 5 uses for all three national forests. Hunting is the activity with the greatest percentage of engagement. (USDA Forest Service 2004). Packgoats are used for both of these activities.

Goats are small enough to be manageable by anyone and can adjust their gate to anyone's length of stride. A goat can carry the load for young or old, those who are healthy or disabled (like me).

I also think it would be excellent PR to invite them to the Rendy. They could see and hike with packgoats firsthand rather than just being told about them. This has worked VERY well in the falconry community where we invite the Wildlife Commissioners on hunts and to our meets.

It would also be good to mention John Mionczynski.

With the meeting only two evening from now please give me feedback as quickly and concisely as you can.

Goatberries Happen!
I suppose that any pack animal allows more supplies to be carried in that otherwise would not have, such as better med kits and weather gear. This means safer trips with less need for evac etc.

Most importantly they tend to keep ghosts away from camp sites, as they are ever-vigilant. Their wide iris gets huge and round at night and their positive aura repels anything generally ecto-negative.
I like the idea of inviting them to witness for themselves but it seems we are dealing with fanatics who would be to blind to see the facts.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale.

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
(04-02-2014, 08:52 PM)Dave-Trinity-Farms Wrote: I like the idea of inviting them to witness for themselves but it seems we are dealing with fanatics who would be to blind to see the facts.

In my 6 years experience in dealing with this Land Use issue with the Shoshone National Forest, Dave accurately describes their behavior, I believe. However, I would continue to invite them as a show of good will, but it would also be calling their bluff.

They could care less about packgoats. They know that we are a small community. Bighorn Sheep hunters bring in incredible amounts of revenue to the State of Wyoming. Shoot and kill the biggest healthiest rams. Money talks.

We drove to Cody, Wyoming twice to have face to face meetings with the forest personnel. They were mostly cordial, we initially thought they were listening.

I have not been able to put my finger on the reason why they REALLY want to close the Forests...but I do feel that it is political and financial, and certainly not logical by any stretch of the imagination.

I feel that the only way that we will get their attention in a hurry is to file suit against them and take them to court and beat their A**.

I will be launching a fundraising campaign here very soon in hopes of raising $85,000 in order to have the funds for litigation. We will be using Once it is launched we will be posting this link on every social media site I can think of. Other folks generate funds for all sorts of reasons, I believe that we have a good cause and if we get the word out, people will support OUR cause as well.
Great thread! I'm planning to take Cuzco and his pack up and down our road to clean up litter this spring. One of the ranchers (or ranch hands) who lives near here likes to toss his beer bottles everywhere.
Are the folks who are making the decisions elected officials, NFS employees or ? I know the members on the Wildlife Commission I have experience with are appointed and for the most point (there are some exceptions) the falconry community has found them approachable. Many have seen falconry first hand over the years and gained a better understanding of the sport. This has helped us tremendously when regulations needed changed or amended.

If I were constantly being yelled at about something I would close my ears. I felt maybe a change in tactics may help.

We ARE a small niche community in the grand scheme of things. I would be interested to know ho many goatpackers there are and how many goats they actively use for packing.
Goatberries Happen!
Charlie, you (and everyone) make good, sensible points. However, I really don't think it's just about "politics and money."

As a former Federal employee, that dealt with complex resource issues, I regularly converse with experts in the field of Land Use Planning, including wildlife biologists, ecologists, and other specialists. I have had a difficult time convincing any of them that pack goats are not a risk. Of course I have a very high emotional stake in my argument, but still...

They all have a strong belief that bighorn sheep teeter in a precarious balance and that any little thing could tip their status from "Sensitive" to a "Threatened & Endangered" species. We can try to argue ad nauseam about the minuscule (according to which research you believe) chance that one of our pack goats might infect a wild sheep. But "beliefs" are often stronger than science. To many specialists, Bighorn sheep are not just a valuable game species; they represent a native animal, a symbol of a population that is declining, like the buffalo and the wild salmon. One only needs to look at the decline of the native salmon population in the west, and all the policy & regulations that have (so far) been a huge waste of tax dollars in bringing back their levels. We all know what the real reason is for the decline in salmon numbers, but none of our useless "band-aids" have addressed it. I consider this a similar situation. So if the Forest Service can apply a cheap & easy "fix" by prohibiting a handful of pack goats in wild sheep habitat, that is what they are going to try to do.

Perhaps education will help. We almost need a "Marketing Director" to spread the good word about pack goats, once you begin your fundraising campaign.

P.S. With regard to Shoshone--I may be wrong about this, but I have heard that John M. is NOT on "our side" of this issue. He may not be the best person to invite to our "party." Please correct me if I am wrong--Saph

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