The Rocky Mountain Regional Specialty Pack String assists in managing and maintaining wilderness and back country areas using traditional animal packing livestock skills.
The U.S. Forest Service is committed to sound wilderness preservation and continued trail use enjoyment, establishing the Rocky Mountain Regional Specialty Pack String (RMRSPS) in 1990 with the following mission statement:
With 9 mules and 4 horses we cover 17 National Forests and 7 National Grasslands. We are based out of Shawnee, Colorado, about 50 miles Southwest of Denver. Shawnee is on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest but our working territory ranges far beyond our home base. The RMRSPS services South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming.
The type of terrain and the type of work varies. The 2012 season will keep the pack string busy working on the following projects:
Training is an important function of the pack string. The five-day intensive course on "Packing for the Real World" presents an opportunity to learn, share, and apply work-related packing skills in a real world setting, including test rides. Each day will provide informal but structured packing skills using the saw buck and decker styles of packing. Topics include: Safety, Tools of the Trade, Panniers/Manties, Minimum Impact Pre-Trip Planning, Knots and Hitches, Transporting Stock, Putting the String Together, Out Rider Responsibilities, 6-Principles for Leading a Packstring, Diamond & Top Loads, Loading & Packing Tools, Trail Etiquette, High Line, Turning-out Stock in the Back Country, Hobbles/Portable Electric Fence.