What about the bison?

I have a friend named Wally.  Wally is an interesting guy because he used to run the horse-riding concession in the park.  Like most of us, Wally has been almost literally screaming from the rooftops to anyone who will listen about how Theodore Roosevelt National Park has stated they plan to ELIMINATE the ENTIRE herd of horses from the park. 

People like Wally, Frank Kuntz, Patrick Springer, Castle McLaughlin and Robert Utley are sooo interesting to talk to because they can share a history that many of us were not here to experience.  A lot of that history includes the park’s never-ending plan -that NO ONE can understand – to eliminate the horses from the park. 

Wally calls, texts and emails me pretty regularly.  The other morning, he sent me a text that said “For giggles, Google are bison livestock”

So I did!

I didn’t just giggle – I literally LMAO!

Before I go on, I want to say that bison are amazing creatures in their own right.  We are in no way against bison being part of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  It is obvious that they, along with horses, elk, deer, etc. were ALL part of Theodore Roosevelt’s experience in the Badlands of North Dakota.

According to the North Dakota Game & Fish Department, the state of North Dakota classifies bison as LIVESTOCK!

Right…right… the whole state/federal thing.  I gotcha!

How’s this…

I also came across this website: https://sites.coloradocollege.edu/rockies/2013/09/11/american-bison-native-wildlife-or-domestic-livestock/

A key point within that paper:

“The American bison is classified by the US government as a type of cattle, and is therefore managed as such.  This misunderstanding of this native species as livestock not as wildlife has created conservation management issues.”


It would seem that Theodore Roosevelt National Park is being overrun by LIVESTOCK!

We ALL heard Superintendent Richman say at the park’s meeting on Thursday: “Really, again, the park has very limited ability to have livestock in any park.  And we don’t have any basis for continuing to keep livestock here at this park.” 

You heard her folks….NO LIVESTOCK!

Can’t do it!
Laws would have to change…blah blah blah….it would impact all 424 national parks…blah blah blah…simply can’t be done…no WAY…no HOW…no Sir!

At this rate, the ONLY thing that we will be left with in Theodore Roosevelt National Park will be the Little Missouri River, Petrified Forest and the other things Deputy Superintendent Maureen McGee-Ballinger noted in her answer about tourism. 

In all seriousness, this does BEG for the question: HOW can two species classified as livestock be in the park boundaries and how can one – quite suddenly – be forced to KEEP their livestock classification while the other is treated as a treasured native species of wildlife with more rights than any horse will EVER have?

Today we have shared a few different posts with you to make a point: DO YOUR RESEARCH.  I could LITERALLY do this all day. 


And yes – FEEL FREE to use these VERY interesting points in your comment letters!

The BEAUTIFUL thing about the National Park Service documents like the Foundation Document and the 1984 Management document – is that in your comment letter you can simply say “On page 10 of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s Foundation Document, it clearly states that the horses are considered “other important resources and values”. You DO NOT have to print and send those documents in.  You can BET the park has those 😉

By the way…

DOES the park have your comments?

Please share your comments no later than January 31, 2023, online through the PEPC website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/LP

Or in writing to:
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
PO Box 7
Medora, ND 58645

We hope that our posts today have helped you feel a little better after that horrible excuse for a public meeting on Thursday evening.  We also hope this helps you see there is sooo much happening behind the scenes.  Have FAITH.

My friend Wally said to me the other day at the end of this conversation, “Chris, I think we can win this thing.” 

I think so too Wally!

And THANK YOU Wally for an awesome tip and for your support!

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.

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