Why NONE of TRNP’s proposed “Draft Concepts” are Acceptable

There are ONLY 8 days left for you to submit your comments to Theodore Roosevelt National Park!  Have you submitted your comments yet?! The public has until April 15th to submit their comment either online here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=119270

Or they can be mailed to the park at:

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
PO Box 7
Medora, ND 58645

American Wild Horse Campaign has posted a sample comment letter that you can use to personalize your own response to TRNP!  You can view their Action Alert here: https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/act-now-national-park-service-targets-north-dakotas-wild-horse-herd

We appreciate AWHC taking the time to create this sample letter and explain this process. NONE of the organizations (including CHWHA) that advocate for these horses have EVER been through this process! Comments needs to be clear, concise, educated and backed by science. “Voting” for the “best” “Draft Concept” IS NOT part of this process! All of the concepts they have proposed will NOT move forward to the next part of this process! THIS is your time to let them know WHAT you want for the future of this herd!

Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates is opposed to EACH of the proposed “Draft Concepts”.  From the obvious reasons, like we DO NOT approve of a non-reproductive herd behind a secondary fence in the park to their proposals that do not allow for more than 70 horses.

Superintendent Angela Richman and her staff told us repeatedly at the Zoom Civic Engagement meeting on March 30th that:

“We definitely want to take the most up-to-date scientific research that we have available and make sure that we are applying that.”

Here is science that supports the herd size:

Gus Cothran, a well-respected leader in equine genetics, has stated in The United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Wild Horses & Burros Management Handbook (see section Herd Size):

“A minimum population size of 50 effective breeding animals (i.e., a total population size of about 150-200 animals) is currently recommended to maintain an acceptable level of genetic diversity within reproducing WH&B populations (Cothran, 2009). (BLM Horses and Burro Handbook at page 22)

Please note: Even though this is found in the BLM handbook and these horses are managed by the National Park Service, BOTH agencies are under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior.  We were also happy to also hear TRNP staff state at the March 30th meeting state that:

“Even though the NPS is not subject to the wild horse & burro act, that does not mean that we can’t learn from other agencies like the Forest Service and the BLM.  We frequently do consult their subject matter experts and resource experts as well when we are going through a project.” 

We want to thank all of you who continue to send us messages and comments stating that if the herd size is reduced to that low of a number OR if the park puts this herd behind a secondary fence and only allows a non-reproductive herd to stay within the park boundaries that you will NOT visit TRNP anymore OR for those of you out-of-state, will NOT even visit the State of North Dakota.  THOSE are comments that need to be given to the Department of Tourism and Governor Doug Burgum’s office!  You can contact them here:

Your letter should go to Sara Otte Coleman, head of the North Dakota Department of Tourism (socoleman@nd.gov) and also Shelly Haugen at Governor Doug Burgum’s office (skhaugen@nd.gov

Your letter can be as simple as:

I am writing to express my concerns regarding the wild horses at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND.  As you are aware, the park held a Zoom meeting last week to discuss their proposed “draft concepts” with the public.  I am deeply concerned that these wild horses are being mis-classified as livestock.  I fear that this incorrect classification will allow the park to either eliminate the wild horses entirely from Theodore Roosevelt National Park or will leave this unique herd as a non-reproductive herd, behind a fence in more of a zoo like setting than a national park. 

IF the park moves forward with either of those concepts, I will no longer visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park OR the state of North Dakota. +

I do hope that you will speak on behalf of these horses and work with the park to take away the livestock classification and include a “concept” that will allow a genetically viable and historic herd of horses to remain in Theodore Roosevelt National Park for future generations to enjoy.

Thank you for your consideration.

Lastly, THANK YOU to everyone who is helping us reach our current fundraising goal!  American Wild Horse Campaign has awarded us a $2,000 MATCHING grant to help support our advocacy work!  THIS is a GREAT time to maximize your donation to us!  Every $1 you donate NOW will be matched by AWHC!  There are several ways you can donate listed on our website: https://chwha.org/support-chwha/

Thank you for your support and PLEASE make sure you get your comments in by April 15th! THIS is the most significant thing happening within this herd at this time!  Pretty pictures will not mean a thing if there are NO horses left in the park!

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.

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