List of closed areas to goats?
Is there some sort of list for what National Forests are closed to goat packing and maybe those that are pending? I've been sorting through the pending management plans from the USFS and seem to be getting confused in what is old news and what is ongoing.

Any help would be great. I am planning to get a string and wondering if its even practical if those areas I like to hike/hunt will be closed in the next couple of years.

Thanks, Ken
Kelpy, to date, the following Forest Service areas are closed to goat packing:
  • Shoshone Naional Forest, Wyoming (all districts except Washakie). Plan is in final stages and closure is imminent.
  • Santa Fe National Forest , New Mexico (Pecos Wilderness). Currently closed.
  • Inyo National Forest, California (proposed). Comment period ended, final plan has not been released yet.
  • Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Oregon and Washington. Comment period ended, final plan has not been released yet. (proposed)

The Appalachian Trail, which passes through 14 states and 8 National Forests, is closed to goat packing.
The following BLM lands are closed to goat packing:
  • Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness, Oregon. Comment period ended, final plan has not been released yet.
I believe that all National Park Service Lands, including those in the state of Alaska, are closed to goat packing.

That is the most current information I have. Others readers on this Forum may wish to chime in--Saph

Can I use this information on the display I am creating for the NWODGA Goat Conference on the 21st? I will have the pamphlet Nanno created plus NAPA business cards I created on the table with the display.

Goatberries Happen!
Sure, Taffy. That would be great. You might want to emphasize that people should always use Best Management Practices, no matter where they pack with their goats, even if they aren't hiking in Bighorn Sheep habitat. We need to show the public that we are responsible and responsive with respect to this issue--Thanks--Saph
Thanks Saph for posting this information!
Thanks for the information. That is a hard hit to take. Looks like many of the areas I would like to pack are going to be closed. Bummer.

Thanks again, Ken
That is why it is so important to join the NAPgA, donate for the legal fees to fight the closures, attend the public meetings and write letters. If we sit back and let it happen we deserve what we get.
Goatberries Happen!
Thanks for the NAPgA shout-out, Taffy!

Ken, I wouldn't let the proposed closures discourage you. The goat packing community needs more members! Smile There are still lots of places to take your goats, depending on what you want to do with them. The National Forests in Oregon are only proposing to close certain portions (bighorn sheep habitat), not the entire forest. And, depending on what happens with our comments and ongoing research findings and recommendations, it may not happen for a while, or ever. All the National Forests in Idaho are still open to goat packing, including the Sawtooth, the Payette, and the Clearwater. These Forests contain vast stretches of some of the most beautiful wilderness in the country. We just need to always be responsible goat owners when we are on public lands.

And by all means, please continue to exercise your right to comment and voice your opinion every time a Land Use Plan proposes to close areas to Pack Goats--Saph
Yes Taffy, I understand the govt. process and our need to voice our opinion and stay together with the sheep people (they have more money and political pull).

Thanks Saph. I am continuing to pursue my goals of hunting the backcountry with goats. I will probably have to learn to slow my hiking pace as very few goats would probably keep up for any distance. But the feasability of hunting elk in some of the places I like to go is just not possible without stock. Archery hunting in the rut means warm temps and the ability to get an elk out before it spoils is the limiting factor. Otherwise I'm known to pull the trigger first and then worry later. Last year I packed a deer 19 miles at 7-10k feet elevation. It was roughly a 90lbs pack load of boned out meat. I'm not opposed to working hard hunting but getting 250-275lbs of elk out from 10+ miles in just isn't possible, especially at 70 degrees. The burns and subsequent blowdowns in some of the nat. forests that you mentioned make horses not a possibility (not that my budget didn't already have that covered). So I have narrowed it down to goats as my solution. I'm curious where you live in ID, I went to school in Moscow.

Fingers crossed some of the OR/WA forests don't implement a plan before I get to do some packing there!

Thanks, Ken
Kelpy, I live outside of New Meadows, near McCall. So I am adjacent to the Frank Church. We take our goats to some pretty rugged country, including areas that have lots of brush & fallen trees, much of it off-trail--places that horses can't make it. For that reason, we have started packing a lightweight folding saw with us, just to help the goats get through. Not sure if you already have one, but it is a necessity around these parts.

Although we don't hunt, we try to keep our goats in good condition (we have already taken them to the Salmon River breaks during this current mild weather). I realize that archery hunting is physically grueling, compared to "regular" backpacking. However, on our trips, the goats have been able to hike as far as I cared to go with them. I think our longest day has been about 15 miles, towards the end of a 6-day trip, but that was on a trail. That being said, we try not to load them down too much, I would rather hike a greater distance and in more rugged country, than take "extra" weight on the goats that might slow them down. Plus, we want them to have a good time, too. Smile

I do know that Forum member Idaho Nancy (hi Nancy! Big Grin ) uses her goats extensively for hunting & she is more than happy with their performance.

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