ATTENTION: To all current NAPgA and non-current NAPgA members, and all goat packing enthusiasts.
AN URGENT message from the President.
First, I would like to thank everyone that responded in writing to the comments on the ROD and EIS pertaining to the use of pack goats on the Shoshone NF in Wyoming during the open comments period. As most of you are already aware NAPgA has been in a long- standing battle over an illegal pack goat ban on the Shoshone National Forest. During this lengthy process NAPgA won a lawsuit against the Shoshone National Forest in 2016 when Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled in our favor. The Forest Service was ordered to go back to the drawing board, meet with NAPgA and write up a new “Risk Analysis of Disease Transmission” and “Environmental Impact Statement”.
During the summer of 2017, NAPgA representatives and our attorney Andrew Irvine met with The Shoshone NF, WY Department of Game and Fish, The Wild Sheep Foundation and The WSF Wyoming sheep working group in several pivotal meetings in Lander WY that resulted in a compromise that both sides could live with. NAPgA agreed to a pack goat closure in six critical core sheep habitat areas within the Shoshone with a possible corridor going around these core areas. The compromise was agreed to as most of the northern core areas are Grizzly Bear territory and were NOT COMMONLY USED AREAS by goat packers in Wyoming and nearby states.
The comments period has closed and the Regional Forester Brian Ferebee for the Shoshone National Forest has reached a decision. The plan calls for the closure of pack goats within the six described core Bighorn Sheep Habitat areas that are home to the most pristine Bighorn Sheep herds on the continent. They cannot be replaced.
The surrounding areas as well as the remainder of the Shoshone National Forest will remain open to goat packing with the requirement of a use permit and compliance of BMP’s Best Management Practices that will be issued by the Forest Service. NAPgA has asked to be involved in developing what the Permit process will look like and our request has been accepted.
NAPgA recently filed an objection to some of the language in the RADT, SDEIS plan during the objection process. NAPgA did not object to the forest plan. NAPgA did however object to a good portion of the language in the plan as it pertains to
the science. The best available science and the science referred to in the plan does not support that our pack goats are dangerous or pose any kind of a disease transmission risk to Bighorn Sheep. Andrew Irvine NAPgA’s very talented attorney wrote our objection letter to the forest service. The objection document is an absolute “masterpiece” and I encourage all of you to read and review it. The document is posted for your viewing located on the NAPgA website at NAPgA.org
Folks, we are about enter the most critical and pivotal meeting that will most likely ever happen as it relates to your rights to use pack goats on public lands now and in the future. What happens in this meeting and in the objection process will pave the way for what happens with goat packing in the future with other forests and forest plans pertaining to pack goats. We have the summit in sight. Its within our grasp. We need your support to reach the top and stake our flag.
NAPgA has depleted most of our finances getting this far with so many legal fees that come along with such a legal battle in our continuing fight to keep public lands open to goat packing. I feel it is critical to our cause to have Andy present in this next objection meeting with the forest service. We anticipate that the next objection process meeting will take place in mid to late April of this year in Cody Wyoming. The cost for our legal services to get Andy and our objection letter to this next critical meeting will be approximately $1800 dollars. Without depleting our savings, we are about $1200 short of this amount. Your president and your board members strongly feel that that this is our last chance and final push to see all anecdotal and non-scientific references to pack goat disease transmission removed from these official government documents. The falsehoods need to stop. Any restrictions must be based on documented, factual research and peer-reviewed science, not hearsay, anecdotes and conjecture.
If you would like to see NAPgA continue this legal battle with the Shoshone, please consider donating to help us send Andy to the objection meeting in Cody. No amount is too small. If you know any pack goat enthusiast who have not yet renewed their memberships, please contact them and encourage them to join. There is strength in numbers and the membership fees go a long way toward helping pay these expenses. With that being said, your president is now “passing the hat” to all of you. We currently have 157 current members. If I can ask for just $10.00 from each member we can raise enough money to cover this expense by late April. Please help us obtain a victory for goat packing. We can do this and we will.
Anyone can make a donation by either visiting our website using the PayPal, or send a check to:
13 Norwood Pl.
Boise, ID 83716
Thank you for your continued support and “Long Live The Pack Goat”.
President, North American Pack Goat Association