I know that so many of you are STILL so disheartened about the park’s meeting the other day.
We say meeting/schmeeting! What did you REALLY expect? If you went into that meeting with any kind of high hopes – we are truly sorry.
The park WILL make the video of the meeting public (hopefully soon) and when they do, we encourage you to watch it again – and again, if necessary.
LISTEN to what they say.
PAY ATTENTION to what they say.
Take note and then DO NOT take what they say at face value.
FACT CHECK them!
First of all – Assateague Island National Seashore is also a national park that has wild horses. Has ANYONE heard about the plans to eliminate ALL of the wild horses from that park? 36 CFR § 2.60 and the NPS Organic Act (54 U.S.C. §§ 100101 et seq.) would HAVE to apply to them too!
The answer is NO!
THAT means that there are ways that the horses CAN stay in the park! All of the environmental laws & policies are things that our lawyers are looking at AND there is A LOT to see 😉 Stay tuned for more on that!
Since we have been advocating for this herd, the park has told us what they can and can’t do and every action they have is referenced back to another document. The 1978 Environmental Assessment. The Foundation Document and Thursday gave me a first: The 1984 General Management Plan. Since I don’t believe I have ever seen this document, I Googled it! AND BINGO! THANK YOU to NDSU for having it in their repository! You can read it for yourself here: https://library.ndsu.edu/ir/handle/10365/6669
We will talk about the 1984 Plan probably in another post. For TODAY– let’s go over Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s Foundation Document.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park released their Foundation Document in 2014. That is PRETTY recent for the document names and years being thrown out by the park.
What IS the Foundation Document?
They tell us right in the document!
Every unit of the national park system is to have a foundational document that will provide basic guidance for planning and management decisions. The core components of a foundation document include a brief description of the park as well as the park’s purpose, significance, fundamental resources and values, other important resources and values, and interpretive themes. The foundation document also includes special mandates and administrative commitments, an assessment of planning and data needs that identifies planning issues, planning products to be developed, and the associated studies and data required for park planning. Along with the core components, the assessment provides a focus for park planning activities and establishes a baseline from which planning documents are developed.
A primary benefit of developing a foundation document is the opportunity to integrate and coordinate all kinds and levels of planning from a single, shared understanding of what is most important about the park. The process of developing a foundation document begins with gathering and integrating information about the park. Next, this information is refined and focused to determine what the most important attributes of the park are. The process of preparing a foundation document aids park managers, staff, and the public in identifying and clearly stating in one document the essential information that is necessary for park management to consider when determining future planning efforts, outlining key planning issues, and protecting resources and values that are integral to park purpose and identity.”
Well that seems like a PRETTY important document – wouldn’t you say? Oh BTW – you can read it here for yourself. It’s a REALLY pretty document too!
WHAT does the Foundation Document SAY about the livestock within the park?
If you search within the document for the word “livestock” there are 3 matches – ALL refer to livestock outside of the park or that the park is fenced to keep trespass livestock out of the park.
What does the Foundation Document say about horses?
For example – did you know that according to the Foundation Document the horses are classified as “other important resources and values”. What does that mean? Here is the page directly from the Foundation Document:
Wait! There is more – NOTE the good health of the herd mentioned along with the need for a FERAL HORSE MANAGEMENT PLAN!
The point we are making here is that it is so EASY to throw around a lot of information to people who don’t fully understand the language in an attempt to fit their narrative. THAT is what the park did on Thursday night. They wanted us to all leave the meeting feeling distraught and defeated.
There ARE ways to save these horses – you just have to PAY ATTENTION and FACT CHECK everything!
We will be back with more – but please, on this Sunday afternoon, flip through the documents we posted in this blog. We think you will be as surprised as we were with what we read.
Thank you for your support and have a great day!
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.