GMUG is a Success Story!
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest Revised Forest Plan – Success!

On June 13, 2024, the USDA forest service released the final revised land management plan and final Record of Decision regarding the long-term management of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests in southwest Colorado.

We are extremely pleased to learn that the Forest Service has adopted a reasonable, science-based approach to the management of packgoat use on the GMUG. Specifically, the Forest Service has made it a priority to “Coordinate with recreational pack goat user groups to educate (the) public about best practices within bighorn sheep habitat, including but not limited to the following: When recreation pack goats are being used in bighorn sheep habitat, any direct contact with bighorn sheep should be prevented while on the trail and in campsites by 1) keeping pack goats under control at all times by the owner and 2) discouraging bighorn sheep from approaching domestic goats.” FW-MA-SPEC-16.f

The NAPgA Board of Directors, our members, and other supporters of recreational packgoat use on public lands worked countless hours over many years to stay involved in the GMUG Forest Plan revision process and it has paid off in a very big way!

We extend a huge, heartfelt “Thank You” to the Forest Service for their willingness to work with NAPgA and packgoat users to reach this reasonable management objective supporting the responsible use of packgoats on the GMUG.

Please remember to always follow NAPgA’s Best Management Practices while recreating with your packgoats, follow Leave No Trace principles, be good outdoor wildlife and land use stewards, and represent all packgoat users in a positive and responsible manner.

There are currently other Forest Plan Revisions that are taking place and more will soon be under way. The Nez Perce – Clearwater Forest Plan revision will be released in the next couple of months and NAPgA and its members have been working extremely hard to maintain the rights of the public to recreate with packgoats on this forest. The Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision has just begun, and your public comments and support will be critical. We need your help to continue to achieve successful outcomes! Please join us in these efforts by renewing or joining NAPgA, becoming and staying involved in all forest plan and land use revisions regardless of where they are located or whether you visit those lands or not, donate your time, special skills or monetarily to NAPgA’s efforts.

We would also like to thank all the individuals that stepped up to work so very hard to achieve this success for the goatpacking community. Special thanks to Nan and Phil Hassey for attending in person planning meetings, taking their goats to meet Forest Service personnel, and maintaining a constant line of communication with the Forest Service and NAPgA.

Stay tuned for future notifications from NAPgA regarding opportunities for you to get involved in these critical land use issues.

Chris Gifford
President - NAPgA
Goatberries Happen!
Thanks, Taffy. This was excellent news to come home to (I've been in South Dakota for the last week). I hope other forest plans look to the GMUG for guidance on how to handle packgoats in bighorn habitat.

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