No more wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park?
I can’t imagine.
Flax ~ Gone.
Boomer ~ Gone.
Circus ~ Gone.
Sidekick ~ Gone.
Nicols ~ Gone.
I could continue down the line.
190 of them – ALL GONE!
We are all asking that question, aren’t we?
WHAT is Theodore Roosevelt National Park thinking?!
They have told us very clearly.
I have learned to READ everything carefully whenever they release anything. So deep diving into their press release from yesterday, here are some things we DO know:
The park stated in their newsletter: “Currently, two livestock herds reside in the Park: there are nine cattle in the North Unit and approximately 200 horses in the South Unit. Both herds have been allowed to occur as nonnative livestock on NPS lands. While past perspectives focused on managing for a historic scene, park priorities are to manage the species, resources, and ecosystems that are native to the landscape of the Park”
Ahhh, I see! The horses have been BLESSED by the National Park Service to be ALLOWED to remain in the area that originally belonged to them BEFORE the park was fenced in back in the 1950’s. BUT ~ NOW the park priorities have changed! They have decided that the park rightfully belongs to the bison that were re-introduced to the area in the 1950’s and the elk that were re-introduced in the 1970’s. The horses, in this equation, are the nonnative “livestock” – according to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Yes, give your head a moment to wrap itself around that. The horses that were always here – proven by the fact that they were “accidentally” fenced into the park are nonnative and the species that were brought in to return the landscape to what Theodore Roosevelt would have experienced are native.
And while we are on the subject of “livestock” – a term many have felt was a poor choice for a label for wild horses in the badlands, the park has given us a definition of just what livestock is: “Livestock at the park include any species of animal that has been selectively bred by humans for domestic and agricultural purposes, including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, horses, burros, mules, goats, and swine.” Hmmmm. So that brings about a few questions. #1 – has the park been selectively breeding the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park? And #2 – what domestic and agricultural purposes have the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park served? We believe the taxpaying public deserves an answer to both of those questions!
It is a very scary time for these wild horses. I have found myself reflecting on Stallion Mystery, Singlefoot, Silver, Thunder Cloud, Cocoa, Mare Chubby, Flicka and all of the others that have passed on. They were actually blessed to have been able to live their entire life wild and free. The current 190 horses currently living in Theodore Roosevelt National Park may not be afforded that simple luxury.
Still, I hold hope in my heart.
This isn’t the first time that the park tried to eliminate the wild horses. A similar thing happened in the 1970’s. The public rallied for these horses and public outcry won.
Please sign up for the public scoping meeting on January 12, 2023, and make sure you get your comments in by January 31, 2023. We have been asked several times and YES! we will continue to offer points like we have in this post that you can use in your letters to the park.
This won’t be easy, and these horses will need EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU to fight for them!
We are begging you to help support our legal fees so that we can continue to have Eubanks and Associates working with us throughout this extremely important process. There are several ways you can donate listed on our website as well as a donate button placed on every Facebook post we make!
Most importantly – PLEASE REMEMBER:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
~ Margaret Mead
It will take every single one of us working together, and this feels like the fight of my life at the moment. I do believe we have the power to make the long overdue changes for the wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home, but it will take every single one of us to make it happen. So yes, the fight seems like it just got REALLY hard. That just means we all have to fight a little harder!
Please share your comments no later than January 31, 2023, online through the PEPC website at:
Or in writing to:
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
PO Box 7
Medora, ND 58645
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.