To those of you who wrote to Theodore Roosevelt National Park asking for the recording and transcript of the March 30th Civic Meeting – it is NOW available to view here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=105110
Thank you to everyone who wrote to the park and asked that this be made available so that the public could properly comment on the proposed wild horse management plan by April 15th!
Please make sure you get your comments in! You can submit them here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=119270
BOTH American Wild Horse Campaign and The Cloud Foundation have given sample comments that you can personalize to submit! We have listed them below. You CAN comment more than once – so if this sparks a new concern(s) for you, please comment again! This comment period ends on April 15th!
From American Wild Horse Campaign:
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.
From The Cloud Foundation:
Tell the Park Service the following (in your own words) —
– Preserving wild horses MUST be a cornerstone of the Park’s livestock management plan since they contributed to President Teddy Roosevelt’s wonder at the natural world, leading to his creation of the very first national parks.
– Horses have lived “wild” in TRNP for generations and millions of Park visitors cherish these animals as an integral part of the cultural heritage of the Badlands.
– These horses must be managed to preserve natural behaviors just as Teddy Roosevelt would have experienced. He would have seen stallions protecting their families, foals with their mothers and aunties and the entire repertoire of natural “wild” horse behaviors.
– To protect the genetic health of the herd, the minimum population should be 150 or more. By allowing the horses to use additional areas of the Park, the herd can and should be managed at a higher minimum population level.
Your voice makes a difference. Please submit your comments directly to the Park Service by clicking below. https://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=119270
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.