We wanted to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you who took the time to send a comment, letter and/or documentation to Theodore Roosevelt National Park regarding the new management plan they initiated this spring! TRNP received 1774 pieces of correspondence/comments. Of those 1774 ~ 1242 were unique! ALL 50 states were represented with comments as well as 58 comments from the international community! The park has created a “Civic Engagement Comment Analysis Report” that summarizes their findings during this comment period. We have added the report to the research section of our website. You can read the full report here:
The purpose of this comment period was to let the park know if there were other analysis that the public felt they should be considering as they moved forward in this process. We tried to drive home the fact that they were NOT asking for people to pick one of the proposals; they wanted scientific proof of different points that needed to be considered. From the report: “this was not a vote-counting process, and the emphasis was on the comment’s content rather than the number of times a comment was received.” We ask that you please keep that in mind for the next public comment period.
The park stated in the report: “…relevant comments will be used to help refine the proposed alternatives, which will ultimately be analyzed in the EA.”
Even though CHWHA was overlooked in the list of organizations represented in the correspondence, our comments are cited multiple times throughout the report. We are confident that the park received and read the 15-pound box we sent in with our comment letter and supporting documentation.
We would expect a change to alternatives the park is proposing for the future management of this herd when they return to the planning process in the fall of this year.
The report shows that there is overwhelming national and international interest and support for the wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home. The public wants a management plan that is based on current scientific data, a healthy herd that is managed at a number that is genetically viable and honors the historical importance of this herd in recognition of the Park’s foundational purpose.
We are concerned that the park appears to be set on doing an Environmental Assessment (EA) instead of an Environmental Impact Study (EIS). Remember, an EA is done when there is little to no impact on the environment. One citation from CHWHA that TRNP did not include in this report was the one regarding which NEPA regulations DO apply to this process:
From CHWHA Comment Letter: “Although the Council on Environmental Quality revised the regulations implementing NEPA on September 14, 2020, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has since directed agencies within the Department of Interior, including the National Park Service, to “not apply the 2020 Rule in a manner that would change the application or level of NEPA that would have been applied to a proposed action before the 2020 Rule went into effect on September 14, 2020.” Sec’y of Interior, Secretarial Order No. 3399, Department-Wide Approach to the Climate Crisis and Restoring Transparency and Integrity to the Decision-Making Process § 5(a) (Apr. 16, 2021)”
Last but not least, we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to American Wild Horse Campaign and The Cloud Foundation for submitting comments and helping to raise awareness about this critical management planning process for the wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND home.
Thank you all again for your support and we will share any updates as we get them!
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.