Pack Animal Gatherings
Our mission is to build community between packers with the ultimate goals of defending access to our public lands and transfering knowledge to the next generation.
Some of us have been packing with alternative pack animals (llamas, alpacas, goats, burros, and yaks) for many years, while others have only recently discovered the charms of these beasts of burden. Join us in Conifer, CO this July and/or in Cle Elum, WA this September to meet other packers, share wisdom and stories, and build community. No weapons or dogs, please.
There will be four main topics of discussion: Public Land Advocacy, Animal Husbandry, Training Techniques, and Outdoor Skills. Ideally, packers of the four main alternative pack animals (lama, goat, burro, or yak) will be represented.
Both of these events will be put on by the participants, which means that the events’ effectiveness depends upon all of us pitching in and contributing our expertise. Think about where your strengths lie (as they relate to our topics) and let us know what you’d like to share. For example, Jim Roller in Conifer and Charley Rosenberry in Washington have both offered us the use of their ranches at no cost. Dan Corley is excited about sharing his extensive knowledge of backcountry first aid, while Cathy Mitkovska has volunteered to talk about the logistics and benefits of pack animals for families who want to experience the outdoors. Devon Herndon is planning a Goats for Beginners talk, Woody Woodward of Yak Pack Outfitters is excited to share all he knows about yaks, and RMLA’s board is supportive and engaged.
When you register (it’s free!), let us know if you’d like to be listed as an expert in one (or more) of the four main topics (Public Land Advocacy, Animal Husbandry, Training Techniques, and Outdoor Skills) and which animal (llama, alpaca, goat, burro, or yak) you pack with. We would like to have an even number of experienced packers and newbies to facilitate a healthy exchange of information at these events. Also, if you plan to bring animals to the events, please let Alexa know.
Recent attempts to ban both pack llamas and pack goats in various National Forests have made it clear that we will have better success at keeping our public land access if we work together, and these two Gatherings are an attempt to bring everyone together to find common ground. Our success at defeating the pack llama ban in Alaska shows how effective we can be if we are organized.