And then there were 7…
That’s right! There are ONLY 7 short days left to make sure that you have submitted your comments regarding the wild horse management plan to Theodore Roosevelt National Park!
As we mentioned yesterday, PLEASE DO NOT comment that you like ANY of the options UNLESS all you ever want in the park is a maximum of 30-70 horses! We shared this yesterday – which uses SCIENCE to say that 150-200 horses MINIMUM are required for genetic diversity!
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 18.104.22.168 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 22.214.171.124 at page 22)
This herd is already seeing inbreeding issues, like Lethal White Syndrome. 30-70 horses will mean more of the same inbreeding issues OR a non-reproductive herd!
THIS is the time to tell the park what you want to see in the wild horse herd at Theodore Roosevelt National Park!
If you are like us and so many other people we have heard from, you are EXTREMELY upset that the park has decided to suddenly classify the wild horses as “Livestock”.
LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE OPPOSED TO THAT!!!!
While the majority of the questions asked by us and our board members were NOT answered on the Park’s March 30th Civic Engagement Meeting, the park did answer ONE of our pre-submitted questions:
TRNP Chief Resource Manager, Blake McCann, took the liberty of answering that question:
“There are a lot of different scenarios under the 6 draft preliminary alternatives. one thing that could be addressed going forward is the disparity on how we manage the cattle and the horses. Wherever horses are free ranging across the landscape NOT in association with corral facilities the options are really limited to provide supportive care. With the cattle, on the other hand, where we have facilities that we can put them behind a fence, we can provide supplements that then would not also be accessed by the bison or other wildlife. We do not want to be in this place of providing those unnatural things to a wildlife population that we want them to continue to interact with the environment and to adapt and change over time and be responsive to that environment. So, under scenarios where we have pastured animals, we create the opportunity for a different interaction. In the case with horses, that could mean supplemental feeding and veterinary care that would change that relationship that we have with them currently.”
THERE is your PROOF that these horses are NOT livestock! Right out of Blake McCann’s mouth! There are very distinct differences between the horses and the longhorn cattle, and Blake explained it PERFECTLY!! FEEL FREE TO SAY THAT IN YOUR COMMENTS TO THE PARK!!!! YES!!! You CAN comment multiple times!
On March 30, 2022, Theodore Roosevelt National Park held a “Zoom Meeting” where they gave the public a slide presentation and promised that the transcript of that meeting would be made available to the public.
Only the slide presentation was made available on their planning portal: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=167&projectID=105110&documentID=119653
We have our own audio recording of the meeting, but we also submitted the following question to the wild horse communication portal today, and suggest that you do so as well:
Please post the complete transcript or a link to the entire recording of the Park’s March 30th public meeting to allow the public to provide meaningful comments on and/or information about the Park’s forthcoming livestock management plan. We understand and very much appreciate that the Park has provided a copy of the presentation slides from that meeting; however, those presentation slides do not include comments made by TRNP staff during the course of that meeting—including their responses to questions submitted by the public— which provided necessary, supplementary information about how the public can best structure its participation throughout the management planning process, including during the now-open comment period that closes on April 15th. Because the public was notified that “this meeting is being recorded” at the outset, and because that recording is necessary to provide meaningful comments/information to the Park during the ongoing comment period, the Park should promptly post a link to the Zoom recording and/or a transcript of the entire meeting. We appreciate the Park’s prompt attention to this matter.
You can submit your question to the portal here: https://www.nps.gov/thro/learn/nature/feral-wild-horses.htm
MOST IMPORTANTLY, 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
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/
Thank you for your support!
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.