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New Pastures for Wind River Pack Goats

Opportunity knocked and in walked ten handsome goats. Hello, my name is Charlie Wilson. I am the new owner of Wind River Pack Goats, of Lander, Wyoming (formally Atlantic City, WY). Last spring I was finishing up a degree in marriage and family counseling, and it was again time to begin to look to the next step. My dream was to combine my newly honed skills in the realm of therapy with my past thirteen years as mountain guide and educator together in a wilderness therapy practice. It seemed the first step was to step up a guide business and get permitted to operate in my home mountains, the Wind River Range. Thus, as I was looking around I was introduced to John Mionczynski and Wind River Pack Goats. We began to explore the possibilities of my acquiring the outfit from John to someday provide that venue for the wilderness therapy practice.

 Today, with my smart-looking, ten goats (and some others that John has kept) happily installed on their new fourteen acre pasture in Red Canyon, my partner (Jim Brabec) and I are cranking up for the coming season. Given that Wind River Pack Goats does not like to rush a good thing, we chose to take non-use on our permits for the '98 season. We did do one trip for the National Outdoor Leadership School, and four trips for the USFS acid rain project.

Seems the rest of the time has been devoted to fence building, and of course visioning the future of the organization.

 John has taken a post with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as a field biologist looking into the health of the Whisky Mountain big horn sheep population. He has been a great deal of help as our goat consultant these past months and is planning to be along on some select trips in the coming season. Sheryl Carson has plans to keep a hand in the goat business breading kids this winter for us, as well as leading the occasional trip. Gary Keene of Ancient Ways has also been a great help and active in this new planning process. Look for Gary to be leading a backcountry, fishing trip for us next summer. It has been a great pleasure to move into this organization much due to the happy enthusiasm of its previous managers -John, Sheryl and Gary have extensive experience and very positive energy towards the future of Wind River Pack Goats.

 Joining the organization along with me is Jim Brabec. Jim and I are currently working out our partnership. Jim was a student of John's on a National Outdoor Leadership School trip three years ago and has co-lead several trips with John since. Jim and I ran most of the trips this past summer. He brings to the organization a strong background in animal husbandry having grown up in the farmlands of Nebraska, as well as an amazingly laid back and steady personality. Currently Jim resides in Omaha with his wife Celeste and their two little boys Noah and Cole.

 The coming seasons we will offer the same sort of high quality trips that the organization has come to be known for. Our brochure is in the printer's as I write, if you are on our mailing list, you should be seeing it soon, and if you are not drop us a line! It is my goal to use these next two to three years to explore as wide a variety of clientele with the goats as possible. My plan is to use the winter to work towards my licensure as a therapist during this time, and then begin to offer therapeutic trips. In the mean while we are exploring as many different populations as we can, seniors, kids, families, disabled, corporate groups, minority groups, etc. I think that the goat can provide the extra support that people need to get out into the backcountry, and I am very curious about the positive effects of the goat-human interaction.

 Our goal is to be using 100% of our public lands permitted time in these next two years. We are also interested in offering early and late season trips in the desert southwest. I am very excited and feel extremely fortunate to have become associated with these goats. I welcome your thoughts, as I regard the readership of Goat Tracks to be an impressive experience base. Please feel free to contact us by telephone, mail or our WebPages.

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