About Last Night…
We hope that everyone was able to attend the Zoom meeting regarding the current management plan that has been initiated for the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND.
We will wait for the transcript of the meeting to be made available before we comment completely on the night. We will share a few things that TRNP did clarify:
- It was made clear again several times during the meeting that this is JUST THE START OF THIS PROCESS!!! They are merely “gathering information” from the public to incorporate into new or combined “concepts” that will move forward into the next phase. Please continue to share your comments with the park through 4/15. We will be creating a form letter in the coming week that will highlight points we feel should be considered during this process so that you can decide what is important to you as you formulate your own comments. You can submit your comments online here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=105110
- They have NOT committed to ONLY doing an Environmental Assessment (EA) instead of an Environmental Impact Study (EIS). To be clear – an EA is done for processes like this when the proposed action will not have any significant impact on the environment. HOW CAN ANY CHANGE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE WILD HORSES NOT HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT? Please make sure you continue to include that you would like them to do an EIS instead of an EA for this process when you submit your comments by April 15th. Your comments at EVERY stage of this process is EXTREMELY important!
- It would appear, as you can see by the screenshot from the meeting (at the end of this blog), that what was initially broadcast as a scoping phase is now some kind of a preliminary NEPA process. All in all, this is good, because it means that WE (the public) get a 3rd comment period for this process.
- There is some confusion by some of you – the long horn cattle live in the North Unit. The wild horses live in the South Unit. The horses are NOT competing for anything with the cattle. HOWEVER – it was interesting the number of times they mentioned that the BISON were NATIVE, and the HORSES were INVASIVE – and essentially, sounding like their cousins at the BLM, were stating that the 180 NON-NATIVE horses are actually taking resources from the NATIVE 400-700 bison.
- We are looking forward to all of our questions that were submitted by the CHWHA board that were NOT answered last night being answered on the wild horse communication portal. They also said you are free to continue to ask questions there as well. You can access their wild horse communication portal here: https://www.nps.gov/thro/learn/nature/feral-wild-horses.htm
My dear friend Frank Kuntz called me today. Like so many of us, he was not impressed with the meeting, but we all did take a few nuggets away. Frank has been fighting for the entire 44 years for this moment and I can’t imagine how many emotions are running through him: frustration, irritation, doubt, and genuine concerns that they will do something crazy like take all of the wild horses and make a non-reproductive herd that sits behind a smaller fence for “public viewing”. I told Frank I am trying hard to stay optimistic. I believe in our legal team and that helps drive my optimism.
As we were getting ready to hang up, Frank said to me: “Stay optimistic!”
You bet Frank! You bet!
Please feel free to share your thoughts or concerns about the meeting.
We also hope that you will help support our advocacy work! There are several ways you can donate to help us here: https://chwha.org/support-chwha/
Thank you for your support and have a great day!