As promised, we have another update on our advocacy efforts.
Wild horses that reside in land that belongs to the National Park Service are NOT protected under the Wild Horse & Burro Act. That leaves the management of the horses to the discretion of the NPS management in that park.
A few months ago, we spoke with the president of the non-profit group that advocates for the Shackelford Wild Horses that reside at Cape Lookout National Seashore. They had similar concerns in their herds past as we do now with the TRNP horses. They were fortunate enough to have a federal legislator step up and help get The Shackleford Banks Wild Horse Protection Act signed into Public Law 105-229.
This prompted us to speak with our federally elected representative. We reached out to our North Dakota Congressman Kelly Armstrong’s office a few weeks ago. Mary, the congressman’s staff we spoke with, told us that Congressman Armstrong would be happy to support any legislation to protect the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Unfortunately, his office was not aware of any current legislation. When we let his office know that we would like the congressman to take the lead on this, their response was that: “Unfortunately, Congressman Armstrong does not serve on the Natural Resources Committee.” They suggested that we find someone on one of the Congressional or Senate Natural Resources Committees to work with the get legislation enacted to get the TRNP horses protected.
We took the advice we received from our congressman and sent emails to members of the congressional and senate Natural Resources Committees.
Last week we received a response from Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s office and were able to set up a Zoom meeting with one of her staff members.
The staff person we spoke with said that if Congressman Kelly Armstrong was willing to take the lead to get our horses protected, he would be willing to bring it to his boss, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, to see if it was possible for them to work together so she could bring it before the Natural Resources Committee and hopefully get the TRNP horses protected.
We believe this is an amazing opportunity for Congressman Armstrong to help protect the wild horses in his home state. We are excited to have potentially found a member of the Natural Resources Committee that that can help our congressman make this happen!
Please contact Congressman Kelly Armstrong’s staff member, Mary Christy. You can call Mary at Congressman Armstrong’s Fargo office at (701) 353-6665.
When you call, saying something like this is all that is needed:
“Hi my name is ____ and I am a constituent living in [City/state]. I’m calling because I’m concerned about the wellbeing of the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I ask that you please ensure these horses get the federal protection they need, similar to the way that Public Law 105-229 protects the Shackleford Banks wild horses.”
You do not have to be a resident of the state of North Dakota to advocate for the wild horses in our state’s national park by calling our congressman. However, we are really encouraging our North Dakota followers to make sure they take the time to call in because Congressman Armstrong represents the people of North Dakota.
Thank you for your support and please feel free to share your responses with us!