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in late 2011 to prevent possible spread of disease to bighorn sheep. Forest officials extended the temporary closure until 2015 and are in the process of formalizing the ban.

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Domestic Sheep and Goats are Not Allowed to graze in any of these Forests anymore! The Wild Sheep Foundation, along with the appropriate Gov't Organizations, has been instrumental in removing ALL of these historic Domestic Sheep Allotments in the past 40 50 years sometimes by "buying out" the User Allotments, and sometimes by "moving these domestic sheep and goats" to areas that are not in Historic Wild Sheep Habitat! There is Irrefutable Scientific evidence that "whenever you allow domestic Sheep and Goats into areas that Wild Sheep live The Wild Sheep WILL DIE"!!Funny how some of you on here get into a "feeding frenzy" when you get to PAT EACH OTHER ON THE BACK whenever you think the other has just said something cute or unique!! I can tell you that most of you don't know a THING about what you are talking about maybe you'd better leave it to the experts you "arm chair" quarterbacks Nike T Shirt Ladies

The Shoshone National Forest placed a temporary ban on pack goats in nearly all of the forest Nike Running Bottoms Mens

They want the Forest Service to think about some of the regulations goat packers could use including tying goats up at night, hanging bells on goats' collars, putting GPS units on the goats to track them at all times and only moving through occupied bighorn sheep habitat during the day, Jennings said.

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A forest plan is working its way through the Forest Service ranks before it is finalized later this year. The plan could allow the possibility of pack goats to be used in the future.

The temporary ban on pack goats was a way to buy time while analyzing more scientific data, said retired forest service biologist Joe Harper in 2011. Pneumonia is spread by nose to nose contact, which could be a risk for goats as well as sheep, he said.

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Anyone who wants to use pack goats would need to be certified in best management practices, assuring the Forest Service that goat packers entering bighorn sheep habitat are prepared.

"I'm in that unique position of having the access to all of the literature. I could see where somebody might want to come to a different conclusion, because it's so up in the air," he said. "I prefer to err on the side of the bighorn sheep. Even if it's one in a million that sheep could be infected by what goats are carrying, I would like to see a temporary ban."

Researchers have long known domestic sheep transmit deadly pneumonia bacteria to bighorn sheep. They also worry about the risks domestic goats can play on the wild sheep populations.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps.

and wannabe Biologists !We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.

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YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

But land available to goat packers like Zimmerman is slowly shrinking.

Jennings and Zimmerman both worry if the Shoshone National Forest places a permanent ban on pack goats, other forests with bighorn sheep are likely to follow.

´╗┐Shoshone National Forest considers permanent pack goat ban

"Goats are not a pack animal; goats are your hiking companions," Zimmerman said. "They're there to assist you and make your trip easier and more enjoyable. It makes it so a lot of people can get into the wilderness who normally could not go because of physical limitations like a bad back or bad knees."

of those in the goat packing community say they can reduce any risk to spreading the disease, said Jennings, board member of the North American Packgoat Association.

As one, like VigilGuy, who has been in the thick of this issue from the beginning 3 years ago, it is downright discouraging the extent of disinformation, and in some cases, outright deception that has occurred in the dialogue that attempts to vilify these wonderful little packers. The reality, the truth is, that there is NO scientific basis at present to justify the exclusion of packgoats from the forest, and it is a part of the deception to attempt to include a packgoat in the same class as a domestic goat. Because packgoats have been imprinted on humans, and socialized to look to their handler as the leader and top of their pecking order, they are genetically predisposed to want to be only one place, and that, is in close proximity to their handler. And that is sad. Very sad.

You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name calling or profanity (or veiled profanity $%^ rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

The Evanston man has been using pack goats for about 20 years, since his wife's knees became so bad she couldn't carry any weight on her back.

It can also spread by aerosol through a sneeze, Mionczynski said. Fish and Wildlife Service to better understand the possible risks of disease transmission between pack goats and bighorn sheep. The result is a proposal to permanently close most of the forest to domestic goats, said Carrie Christman, forest planning staff to the Shoshone National Forest.

"We would really like to come to the table," Jennings said. "We care about bighorn sheep, too. We care about the environment."

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Clay Zimmerman is spending his retirement renting pack goats to backpackers. Goats are gentle creatures that want to please, making them easy to rent to even those unfamiliar with the beasts, he said.

Some goat packers, like Zimmerman and North American Packgoat Association board member Charles Jennings, say the chances of a domestic pack goat giving a bighorn sheep pneumonia is very slim. But others, including Atlantic City biologist John Mionczynski, say it may only take one encounter to cripple an already floundering sheep population.

Mionczynski doesn't want to see a permanent ban. He has spent years researching bighorn sheep with the University of Wyoming, and he believes it's possible in the future to create a vaccine for the wild sheep. Vaccines have been used in wild sheep since the '70s, distributed to the herds by apple pulp.

Some researchers believe wild sheep already have a weakened immune system. If researchers can find a solution, it could also help reduce the risk of introduced diseases, he said.

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