American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) just released their “Action Alert” for the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park! You can read it here: https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/act-now-national-park-service-targets-north-dakotas-wild-horse-herd
Many of you have asked what to comment for the proposed wild horse management plan. Comments can be made here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=167&projectID=105110&documentID=119270
AWHC offers this sample letter that can be personalized for your own comment:
To Whom It May Concern:
Please accept the following comments on the Scoping Notice for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s (TRNP) Livestock Management Plan (LMP) for its wild horses and longhorn cattle.
While the National Park Service (NPS) is preparing the LMP, it must stop all roundups and removals of the horses and the use of fertility control.
Additionally, an Environmental Analysis (EA) should consider and analyze the following alternatives:
- Change the designation of the Theodore Roosevelt horses from “livestock” to “wildlife.” The NPS has never explained why they’re designated as livestock and doesn’t acknowledge paleontological evidence and mitochondrial DNA analysis supporting the fact that wild horses are a reintroduced native species to this continent.
- Set a minimum herd size of 150 horses to ensure a genetically viable herd, as recommended by Dr. Gus Cothran, an equine geneticist, for all wild horse herds in the United States.
- If “new blood” needs to be brought into the herd, introduce horses who are historically significant to the TRNP and prioritize the Nokota horses. A 2018 study from Texas A&M found that the historic herd is at risk of inbreeding and recommended introducing new mares and changing removal strategies to preserve genetics and lineages.
- Given concerns about its potential for permanent sterilization and injection site abscesses, eliminate the use of GonaCon for the fertility control program. When administering any fertility control program, the NPS must consider the herd’s genetics and bloodlines as well as the safety of mares. Instead of GonaCon, the NPS should implement a fertility control program using PZP that has been proven to be reversible and safe for the mare.
- If removal of horses needs to take place, use science and genetics to determine what horses will be removed. However, a successful fertility control program should mean that there is no need from removals.
Further, instead of selling captured horses via the General Services Administration Online Auctions website, the NPS must develop an adoption program that screens potential adopters and includes a contract with facility and care requirements and a prohibition on the sale of horses for slaughter.
Finally, due to the controversial nature of the LMP and the myriad of legal, environmental, economic, and social issues it raises, an Environmental Impact Statement is required.
Thank you for your consideration.
Don’t forget! American Wild Horse Campaign has also given a matching grant of $2000 to Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates! Please check out this link on our website for ways you can help us meet this goal! https://chwha.org/support-chwha/
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates is committed to advocating for a wild horse management plan and protection for these unique wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home! We are fighting for a management plan that is guided by science especially when it comes to decisions regarding the removal of horses and the administration of birth control. Many other wild horse management plans have proven to be successful with their science-based plans. We are asking for the same for this amazing group of wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home.