SCR 4011 – Part 3

Valerie Naylor was Superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in 2013.  She gave her own testimony.  Some highlights of her statement include:

“The horses are important to the park, and we have every intention of maintaining them in the South Unit into the future.”

“The horses in the South Unit today are descendants of ranch horses that roamed the badlands prior to the time when the park was fenced in the mid-1950s.”

“I want you to know that we do manage the horses in a responsible, careful, thoughtful, and science-based manner.”

When she spoke of the introduction of domestic stallions and the removal of dominant horses in the park, she stated: “We can’t change that now, and I don’t think we should second guess it.  Since the 1980s, we’ve learned a lot about genetics, the park horses and horse management.”

“The park has no desire now or intent now to introduce new horses or in any way change the appearance of the horses.”

“I want to stress that we know these horses well and we manage them carefully.  You may not know that we are working with veterinarians and leading reproductive scientists on a major, cutting-edge project on contraception in the horse herd, testing a contraceptive to see if it might be effective in limiting population growth so that round ups and sale of excess horses would not be necessary on a regular basis.”

“As part of this research project, we have excellent records on all of the horses in the park, and we use that information to track and manage the horses.”

Mike McEnroe, representing the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, also spoke in opposition of SCR 4011.  He stated that The Chapter supports what Superintendent Naylor stated and added:

“The Resolution is unnecessary and implies that the Park is not soundly managing the wild horse herd.”

The May 2009 interview with Former NPS Chief Historian, Robert Utley was handed out to the committee.  This interview can be found in its entirety in the library section of our website.  We have also spoke of Robert Utley, his work and his views on the TRNP horses in previous blog posts.  Most recently, we have had the pleasure of being in communication with Robert Utley.  With regards to Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates and our current legal correspondence with TRNP, he has stated to us that “to the extent of my limited abilities, I stand ready to help in any way I can.”

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