Pack Animal Magazine
Pack Llama Ban in Chugach National Forest Final Land Management Plan
LLAMA PACKING

Pack Llama Ban in Chugach National Forest Final Land Management Plan

by Alexa Metrick, Editor

Please submit your objection to the pack llama ban in the Chugach National Forest Final Land Management Plan here. You can read the editor's objection by clicking on the above link. Linda and Phil Nuechterlein have put together a number of resources to help us object to this ban; please see their information here. And, as always, extensive documentation about llama bans in general can be found here: www.packllamas.org.

The Merits of Packing Females and Geldings
LLAMA PACKING

The Merits of Packing Females and Geldings

by Kristy Brown (FALL 2019)

The industry standard for many years has been to use only intact male llamas as packers. There were concerns about stamina and weight-bearing limitations for females and the risk of a llama getting loose and becoming feral and birthing in the backcountry. Geldings had an even bigger stigma with concerns about conformation issues developing due to gelding them. But I would like to share some experiences and encourage you to consider packing your females and geldings.

A Packer's Responsibility
LLAMA PACKING

A Packer's Responsibility

by Dr. Murray E. Fowler, DVM (SPRING 2012)

Llama packers in the United States will remember the challenges posed by a planned exclusion of llamas for Canyon Lands National Park in Utah. Similar exclusionary policies have been put in place in California. Another such policy is being attempted in Alaskan wilderness areas.

Some battles seem to be endless. Sometimes the challenges raised by government agencies are mired in beaurocracy or political overtones and sometimes downright bias. I have personally participated in discussions with government officials, trying to explain the lack of risk by using published scientific information only to have my words fall on deaf ears. Instead, I heard statements such as...

Making Hay While War Rages
LIFESTYLE

Making Hay While War Rages

by Kristen Davenport (Summer 2013)

Twelve years ago, when we moved out of the city and came up here to live on the edge of the woods, it was definitely an attempt to get away—and to find a place where we could grow good garlic. But it also felt crazy. I was commuting over an hour to my job at a newspaper, living in a dilapidated house and not quite sure what we were doing out here.

That same year, on September 11th when the World Trade Center collapsed, I woke up in our cozy little adobe bedroom and, like I did most mornings back then, turned on the radio news. After hearing what was happening on NPR, I went and got my TV out of a closet and plugged it in, trying to get a signal. I got a weak, fuzzy picture from CBS that I watched as the radio blared. Frantically calling my sister (who was in Manhattan that day), trying to get information, it felt like the whole world had gone mad...

You Can Pack With Goats?
GOAT PACKING

You Can Pack With Goats?

by Charlotte Zimmerman (Fall 2015)

“You can pack with goats? What a novel idea!” Those are usually the first words out of the mouth of someone who sees them on a trail for the first time.

We were avid backpackers, teaching our four children to enjoy the outdoors, when we learned that I had very bad knees. In fact, I was told that if I didn’t stop carrying anything over ten pounds immediately, I would be looking at surgery within five years. In 1993, that meant I would be lucky to be able to walk normally after surgery. I was 35.

That same fall, we learned about the possibly of goats. I don’t know what llamas cost now, but in 1994 they were around $3,000 a piece—compared to a goat at $50. We can feed fifteen goats on the same amount of food a day as one horse. We had limited funds and limited land, so goats it was...

Navigation: Preparing for the New Season
NAVIGATION

Navigation: Preparing for the New Season

by Phil Romig Jr (Spring 2014)

Yesterday I stepped out the door to go to work and something didn’t seem right. It was uncharacteristically warm, the wind wasn’t blowing, and the strange, dark lumps in our barren trees were robins— fifteen of them. Then it hit me. Spring will come again, days will grow longer, new life will appear in the trees and grass, and snow will melt in the backcountry, inviting us to renew our search for solitude, beauty and self-awareness.

The first sign of the earth waking from its winter sleep calls to mind the line from Tennyson’s Locksley Hall: “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” However, our readers are more likely to be turning to thoughts of days on a trail and evenings by a campfire. But instead of just thinking, why not do something about it?