NAPgA’s lawyer, Andy Irvine, recently put together a wonderful response to the Shoshone NF Risk of Disease Transmission and Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Study, which both contained faulty science to justify banning packgoats from Bighorn Sheep territory. Every issue brought up in the Shoshone documents is addressed in detail. This is a long document but well worth the read. This is one of the things NAPgA’s money pays for, and the comments may well be applied to similar situations as they arise in other areas. Click the link below to access the full document.
Once again we stand to lose even more access to the wilderness in the new Idaho Land Use Plans being considered as we speak.
There is much in the Draft version of these plans to be of concern, but the primary information that needs to be responded to is in the EA’s for each of these plans. One is called the Hemingway-Boulders plan (HBWC), and the other the Jim McClure-Jerry Peaks plan (JMJP). BOTH must be responded to. The Deadline for Comment is November 26, 2017.
The documents I have attached outline the problems that I see in each of these plans. However, there is one paragraph in each of the Environmental Assessments that is completely wrong in its entirety. It is found on Page 48 of the HBWC plan, and Page 46 of the JMJP plan. Our legal advisor, when presented with this paragraph noted, ‘There isn’t anything in this paragraph that is correct!’
This paragraph can be refuted in its entirety, and therefore needs to be the focus of your comments.
PLEASE, read over the attached document, and/or download the actual plans, and send in your comments as soon as possible. Even if you never think you will access or want to access this section of the white cloud wilderness, we desperately need your comments to add weight to what I will be sending.
Read Larry Robinson’s “Problems with Idaho Land Use Plans”
Comments for the Hemingway-Boulders need to be sent to:
Written comments must be submitted to the responsible officer:
• Send an email to: email@example.com. Please indicate “Wilderness Plan” in the subject line. Electronic comments must be submitted as an e-mail message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word document (.docx).
- Send a hardcopy letter to Sawtooth National Forest, 2647 Kimberly Road East, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301. For those submitting hand-delivered comments, business hours for the Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor’s Office are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
- Comments may also be submitted by fax to (208) 737-3236. Include your mailing address and phone number.
Comments for the Jim McClure-Jerry Peaks need to be sent to:
Written comments must be submitted to the responsible officer:
- Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate “Wilderness Plan” in the subject line. Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an e-mail message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), and Word (.docx).
- Send a hardcopy letter to: Salmon-Challis National Forest, Attn: Wilderness Plan; 1206 S. Challis Street, Salmon, ID 83467. The office business hours for those submitting hand- delivered comments are: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
- Comments may also be submitted by FAX to 208-879-4198. Include your mailing address and phone number.
Time is running out to comment on the latest Shoshone Environmental Impact Statement proposing to ban packgoats. This is important! The rules implemented in Shoshone will likely affect land use plans and decisions all over the West. NOW is the time to act! Please read the newsletter for information about how to comment on these proposals. If we stand back and say nothing, we have no right to complain when we get shut out.
CLICK HERE to download the newsletter.
The comment deadline of August 10th is fast approaching!
The outcome of the final decision by the Shoshone National Forest regarding pack goat use will very likely have a domino effect on how other National Forests address pack goat use.
The Shoshone National Forest has prepared a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for Use of Domestic Sheep, Goats, and Pack Goats, which is a Supplement to the Shoshone National Forest Plan, which was revised in May of 2015.
The Shoshone National Forest proposes to limit areas where domestic sheep allotments are stocked and restrict the use of domestic goats and pack goats on the Forest to reduce the risk of disease transmission to bighorn sheep.
Follow the links to the documents below. Neither is extremely long and you will find plenty to comment on regarding the possibility of disease transmission from pack goats to big horn sheep. The new best science available is not being used in these documents!
After reading these two documents please submit your comments. Alternative #3 is NAPgA’s preferred alternative. It permits pack goat use in the Shoshone National Forest with the least amount of risk for the Bighorn Sheep.
The 2016 GOAT MOVI STUDY CONDUCTED BY DR. MAGGIE HIGHLAND, a Veterinary Medical Officer and Researcher with the USDA-ARS-Animal Disease Research Unit, in collaboration with USDA-APHIS personnel is the most current best science available regarding the possibility of disease transmission from pack goats to Bighorn Sheep.
From spring through fall of 2016, 576 goats (419 packgoats and 157 housed on premises with packgoats), from 83 premises located in 13 states, were sampled 3 times at 4 week minimum intervals to test for nasal presence/shedding of Movi. Nasal swab samples were collected in duplicate at each time point, with one nasal swab from each sample collection being tested in Dr. Highland’s laboratory and the second swab from the first sample collection being tested in an independent laboratory. Repeat nasal swab sampling of the goats in this study has confirmed the presence of Movi on just 5 of the 83 premises (6% of premises). Premises that had Movi detected in any of the goats had between 7 to ≥15 goats present on the premises. Movi was confirmed to be present on the nasal swabs collected from 30 of the 576 goats tested; this means 94.8% of the goats tested had NO Movi detected on nasal swab samples. Of the 30 total confirmed Movi positive goats, 27 (or 90%) of them were ≤1 year of age (23 of them were <5 months).
In summary, not only does the behavior and handling of pack goats drastically decrease the risk of a domestic pack goat coming into contact with a bighorn sheep, it would seem highly improbable based on this large scale study that a domestic pack goat would even be shedding Movi should such an unlikely contact occur.
Comments on the SDEIS must be submitted via mail, fax, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8AM – 4:30 PM, excluding holidays) to:
Casey Mc Quiston, Resource Staff Officer
Shoshone National Forest
808 Meadowlane Avenue
Cody, WY 82414
Fax: (307) 578-5112
Electronic comments including attachments may be submitted by email in Word format (.doc), portable document format (.pdf), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), and hypertext markup language (.html) may be sent to: email@example.com
If you’re not sure what to say or how to say it, we have a form letter that you may use as a guide. We encourage you to rephrase it into your own words and add any further concerns of your own. Please remember to be courteous and professional in your wording.
Form Letter: http://www.napga.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Shoshone-Form-Letter.pdf
Many thanks to all the wonderful folks who attended Rendy 2017 in Lake City, CO. You made this event work! We especially want to thank all the generous folks who donated some really incredible items to the store/auction this year! It was amazing and the fundraiser was a huge success! Finally, special thank-you’s go out to Maggie Highland for coming so far to share about Bighorn disease research, to John Mionczynski for traveling down to share his wealth of wisdom and experience, to Edna Mason of the Lake City Forest Service for sharing her experiences working with Bighorns and domestic sheep grazing issues in the Lake City area, and to Jim Lovelace and Elijah Waters of the Gunnison BLM office for allowing us to host this event in Lake City. A great time was had by all!
Grant Houston, editor of the Lake City Silver World newspaper was impressed with our group and did a nice write-up about it here:
If you have photos and/or videos of the Rendy that you would like to share, please use the “Contact Us” page to get in touch with Nan Hassey.
Here are a few Rendy highlights:
Work project on the Alpine Gulch Trail, including rerouting water, rebuilding trail with rock, and building bridges over the swollen creek.
Round up those goats and get ready for the 2017 NAPgA Rendezvous in fabulous Lake City, Colorado June 15 -18!
We’ll camp at Pike Snowden Meadow about five miles west of Lake City on the Henson Creek Road. Click on the thumbnails below to see pictures of the camping area.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please read these directions on HOW TO GET TO LAKE CITY AND SNOWDEN MEADOW!
– Friday classes on a variety of packgoat subjects featuring speakers John Mionczynski, Clay Zimmerman, Carolyn Eddy, and Nan Hassey
– NAPgA fundraiser store
– Potluck and music at the campfire Friday and Saturday nights
– Saturday trail service project on Alpine Gulch Trail
– Saturday afternoon equipment “show and tell”
– Weather permitting, Sunday hike up Uncompahgre Peak
CLICK HERE for the complete schedule
– Nearby creek access for goat water
– Plenty of tree shade
– 1-mile hike to Nellie Creek Falls
– Short drive to Lake City
– Two easy miles to work project trail
You MUST bring certified weed-free hay (The BLM will be checking!). If you need certified hay, please contact Nan Hassey. Hay will be $10/bale.
email: nanhassey @ yahoo dot com
phone: 719-489-2732 (no text!)
Health certificates are required for all out-of-state goats. In the destination field, have your vet write “Camping 5 miles up Henson Creek Road (C.R. 20) at Nellie Creek intersection.”
The BLM is allowing us to camp in this location on the condition that we will keep the camping area clean and keep our goats contained. Goats in camp will need to be corralled or tethered and any leftover hay and bedding must be picked up every day. Goats must be kept where they can’t damage trees.
The Rendy store is NAPgA’s biggest fundraiser of the year! If you wish to donate items, please CLICK HERE for more information. Remember to bring cash or check so you can take home some of these wonderful items!
Proceeds help support NAPgA’s ongoing fight to keep public lands open to packgoats.
UPDATE: Calendars are SOLD OUT!