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NAPgA 2020 calendar photo contest!

It’s time for our much-anticipated annual NAPgA Calendar photo contest! Look through your photos and pick out five favorites. Your goat could be famous in 2020! 

Photo submissions will be taken through September 30th.

These are the rules:

-Participants must be current NAPgA members

-Participants must put their name in the photo’s description field.

-Each participant may submit up to five photos.

-To qualify for a calendar page, photos MUST be in landscape orientation and high resolution. High resolution means at least 2500 x 1900 pixels.
If these qualifications are not met, your photo cannot be used for the calendar no matter how many votes it receives!

Here’s how to enter:

Go to NAPgA’s Flickr account:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/133750117@N08

Sign in at top right with the email and password information that was emailed to you (if you didn’t receive the email or you need it re-sent, please contact us or email napga.org@gmail.com

If you have a personal Yahoo! account, you will have to log out of it in order to sign into the NAPgA account.

Flickr can be complicated to use, so please pay close attention to these instructions.

1. To upload photos, click the little cloud and arrow icon in the top right corner. Once your photos are on the page, click the blue “Upload” button in the top right corner.

2. After your photos are uploaded, click the “Albums” link in the middle of the page. Click the “+ New Album” link found to the right of the existing albums.

3. A line of photos will appear along the bottom of the page. Drag your photos into your new album. Add your name to the album title so we know it’s yours.

4. Once your photos are added to your album, click on each photo and add a title and description. In the description field please put the location of the photo, names of goats, people, photo credits, or other information you would like to include.

If you have any questions or trouble using the Flickr site, please contact us! We are happy to help!

Now let’s see those awesome packgoat photos!

Sierra/sequoia NF comment period

The Sierra and Sequoia National Forests are currently in the comment period for their plan revisions. Both plans are very similar and contain the same language regarding packgoats. The comment period ends September 26th and one comment covers both plans.

These plans and info about how to comment can be found at this web address: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/ landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprdb5444003

Sequoia Plan: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/3403_FSPLT3_4658766.pdf

Sierra Plan:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/ FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd640160.pdf

Both contain the same language regarding packgoats, found on page 61 of the Sequoia plan and pages 59/60 of the Sierra plan. As usual, we must urge them to stop referring to “sheep and goats” as if they were the same species. For packgoats, the plans state that they should not be allowed in high risk bighorn sheep habitat “unless risks can be adequately mitigated.” With packgoats, we know that risks can be mitigated, so it’s important to emphasize our Best Management Practices.

We can also link them to Dr. Highland’s 2016 M.ovi study, the results of which can be found here:
https://www.napga.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/NAPgA-Summary-of-Understanding-4.16.19.pdf

There are several good supporting documents under the Resources tab on this webpage that might help you with your comments.

Comments can be submitted electronically here: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ CommentInput?Project=3375

Or you can email comments to: r5planrevision@fs.fed.us

Or snail mail them to:

Planning Team Leader, Forest Plan Revision
1323 Club Drive
Vallejo, CA 94592

Carolyn Eddy Memorial Fund for Research

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.

Proposed packgoat ban in Colorado

Recently a working draft preview came out for the revised forest plan for three major National Forests in southwest Colorado: Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison. 


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:  
gmugforestplan@fs.fed.us     

Or to the online comment form here: 
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Pu…ject=51806  

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: 
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Pu…ject=51806

Let’s work together to maintain access to this amazing piece of public land. This is our future! 

2019 REndezvous, buffalo, wy

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!