Gillette Public Access Television made a wonderful video at this year’s Rendezvous, featuring interviews with our president Curtis King, Marc Warnke of packgoats.com, and Clay Zimmerman of High Uinta Pack Goats. Enjoy!
When Carolyn Eddy died in April 2018, she willed a large sum of money to NAPgA to be used to fund research that will further the interests of goat packing. The money is currently being held in trust until the right research project is proposed. We would like to see the fund continue and grow even after Carolyn’s initial endowment is spent.
A permanent link to this page can be found under the resources tab on our website.
If you would like to contribute to the Carolyn Eddy Memorial Fund, please specify this in your donation.
What we learned:
– The working plan is currently in pre-draft stage, which means we have a chance to change it before the official objection process begins. The Forest Service is not required to release the plan or take comments during this stage, and I believe the GMUG FS may be the first to ever put a plan out for public input before the official release. This is a rare opportunity!
– The proposed packgoat ban is coded FW-STND, which is a forest-wide standard. This means packgoats would be banned from anything deemed “bighorn sheep habitat” (which is a huge part of the GMUG) with no flexibility, wiggle-room, or exceptions. Exact wording on page 27:
FW-STND-SPEC-16: To maintain effective separation among species in habitat occupied by bighorn sheep, the use of recreational pack goats and the use of goats and sheep for invasives and/or noxious weed management is prohibited.
– We have until July 29th to comment on the GMUG plan. These comments provide no standing for the later objection period, however what I think the GMUG folks are trying to do is edit the plan now so they can deal with fewer official objections later on. When the document goes into the objection phase, the FS is required to answer each and every objection. I believe they are trying to avoid some hassle by drafting a plan using public input now to avoid facing backlash later on. We don’t want hassle either, so let’s not miss this chance!
– The GMUG plan includes many allotments for grazing domestic sheep. As much as 2/3rds (1.9 million acres) of the GMUG is designated grazing area. Since grazing sheep continue to be allowed in the proposed plan, there is no logical reason why packgoats should be banned as a way to protect bighorn sheep.
What to do next:
– If you live in Colorado (or you really feel like traveling), consider attending one of these open houses to make sure goat packers are represented:
July 9- Hotchkiss, Heritage Hall, 403 East Bridge Street
July 10- Palisade, Community Center, 120 West 8th Street
July 11- Montrose, Event Center, 1036 North 7th Street
July 16- Norwood, Lone Cone Library, 1455 Pinion St.
July 17- Ridgway, 4H Center and Fairgrounds, 22739 US-550
July 18- Gunnison, Fred Field Western Heritage Center, Van Tuyl Room, 275 South Spruce Street
All open houses are from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
– Write a letter 1.) requesting that goat packing be included in the activities important to the GMUG NF which are listed on page8, 2.) that the ban on page 27 be removed, and 3.) that the reference to packgoats on page 143 be removed since packgoats are NOT an example of disease transmission to bighorn sheep (there is not one documented case of a packgoat giving disease to bighorns). Exact wording on page 143:
To increase awareness, educate partners and visitors of the potential for pathogen transmission affecting native plants and animals (e.g., recreation pack goats and bighorn sheep, the need to decontaminate wading boots to reduce spread of chytrid fungus, or whirling disease, etc.).
The Forest Service is looking for reasonable, substantive, and unique comments on this forest plan. If you ever visit Colorado, be sure to mention it in your letter since tourism has economic value to the state. Keep in mind that NAPgA sometimes holds Rendevous in Colorado (our 2017 Rendy was held in the Uncompahgre NF).
Comments can be submitted to:
Or to the online comment form here:
Or by old-fashioned paper letter to this mailing address:
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
Attn: Plan Revision Team
2250 South Main Street
Delta, CO 81416
Previously submitted comments can be read here:
This year’s Rendezvous in Elgin Park near Buffalo, WY was smaller than Rendys in recent past, but it was a very dedicated group and camaraderie was high. The weather was cold but the scenery was stunning and the location perfectly suited to accommodate humans and packgoats alike.
On Friday, Marc Warnke of www.packgoats.com gave an outstanding talk on training packgoats and showcased his beautiful Alpine boys, Merciless, Thorn, and Ridge.
Nancy Clough, with a little help from Nan Hassey, gave a talk on goat first aid, using Carolyn Eddy’s book as a guide.
On Saturday Charlie Hackbarth of Sopris Unlimited gave a demonstration of his packsaddle system with the help of his daughter Alexa Metrick, Clay Zimmerman of High Uinta Packgoats, and Nan Hassey of Goat-O-Rama with her two goats, Finn and Sputnik.
Robert and Connie Losee came all the way from Texas! Nan helped them get their Nubian wether, Sprite, started in harness for the first time.
Nan set up an obstacle course primarily using features from the natural terrain. Almost everyone took their goats through it and it was a fun hit! Here, Finn demonstrates how to be calm while Nan opens an umbrella.
Dean Kroon’s goat was brave about crossing his first teeter-totter.
All in all it was a great Rendy. Many thanks to Justin and Desarae Starck for doing all the hard work to scout a location and put it all together! We look forward to Rendy 2020!
Curtis King recently teamed up with Marc Warnke of packgoats.com to bring us a video about NAPgA’s Best Management Practices for hiking and camping with goats. These practices are how we avoid losing goats and prevent goat-wildlife interactions. Enjoy the video!
Due to thunderstorms in the area on Saturday, we will be moving to a different camping area with a pavilion. We’re going to be at Ratcliff Lake camping area right off Hwy 7 near Ratcliff, TX. It’s very easy to find and has all the facilities (including electrical hookups, running water, and showers in the bathroom!). We will be all the way at the very end of the lake from the entrance. We have the group camping spot reserved for Friday and Saturday nights for $30/night. It will accommodate up to four families, which should be plenty for our little gathering. For those coming down only for Saturday (no overnight), there is a $5/vehicle day use fee. Please pay it on your way in at the self-pay station so you can get a tag to put in your windshield.
The rain may put a damper on our lunch hike, but we’ll play by ear and hopefully we’ll be able to get out and do a bit of tromping. Those of us who are there on Friday will be able to participate in a small work project right next to our campsite. It will involve cleaning up brush and weeds around the foundations of the old sawmill so people can explore the old ruins safely.
If anyone has questions, they can reach me (Nan Hassey) on my cell phone at 719-639-6443
We’ll see you there!
A NAPgA Rendezvous for Texas!
Howdy folks! We’re planning a mini-Rendy for Texas the weekend of April 5-7. We’re meeting at Ratcliff Lake Campground in Davy Crockett National Forest off Hwy 7 near Ratclif, TX , with activities planned for Saturday, April 6th. Come for the weekend or just for the day!
Saturday schedule includes: 9am Packgoat “Meet ’n’ Greet”
– 11am picnic lunch hike + possible trail maintenance/cleanup
– Afternoon seminars, including hoof trimming, saddle fit, training
Please contact Nan Hassey for more info or if you plan to camp overnight: firstname.lastname@example.org, 719-639-6443
It has come to our attention that the Texas State Parks do not allow goats. This may be the perfect opportunity to start educating the park officials about packgoats. If you live in Texas, please invite your State Park rangers to come Saturday morning. You may print out a flyer HERE: https://www.napga.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/HoofenannyPDF.pdf
Rendy 2019 will be held in Elgin Park, WY June 20-23. Elgin Park is about half an hour west of Buffalo, WY in the Bighorn NF. We do not have a schedule or work project lined out yet, but we will get those details in place as the date approaches. Please be thinking about donations for the annual Rendy store and auction. This is one of NAPgA’s biggest fundraisers and is only possible through the generosity of our donors. And some of you guys have access to some really cool, unique stuff!