Are you an outdoors person? Do you hike? Many people who do heavy-duty outdoor hiking and climbing have found that carrying 50-100 on their backs is just too much. And, many now own Pack Goats as their companion and helper. So why is the government trying to stop these people with born, raised, and bonded pack goats (not fielded, pastured, farmed or milked) from taking them into the forests? Larry Robinson, President of NAPgA, North American Pack Goat Association says:
The North American Pack Goat Association’s (NAPgA) Troubles in the Winds
In November of 2011, the Shoshone National Forest summarily closed the Wind River Range to pack goats. Ostensibly, it was because they represented a threat to the Bighorn Sheep (BHS) there. Prior to the closure, the NAPgA Land Use committee presented the Shoshone NF with 12 ‘Best Management Practices‘ that we had formulated to give the NF managers assurance that we could not be a threat to the BHS.
In spite of these efforts, on November 2011, the lion’s share of the Wind River Range was closed to goats. During the Fall of 2012 and during the public comment period, we did a 2000+ mailing attempting to write the Shoshone NF opposing the elimination of goats from the forest.
So, nothing to do but wait for the FEIS, expected October 2013, right? After all this is a one-time issue, confined to Wyoming isn’t it?? Sadly, not remotely!
Subsequent to the end of the Shoshone NF public comment period, I became aware that the Inyo NF had reinstated a closure to goats similar to the Winds. Radar is now tuned to long-range. More research indicates that Wallow-Whitman in Oregon is also redoing their forest plan and the operative statement in their plan is, “No pack goats in BHS habitat, or adjacent to BHS habitat. So the reality begins to coalesce that this is not by any stretch of the imagination a limited action, and there is most assuredly an agenda to eliminate goats from the forests period.
Further research indicates that 8 other forest agencies have been instructed to re-accomplish their forest plans. It is time for everyone to put his or her antennas up to full height. It may be goats now, but they will eventually come with the lance for your particular ‘ox’!