What an incredible day yesterday was!
We showed up at the North Dakota State Capitol building in Bismarck at about 8:45 am yesterday to testify in favor of SCR 4014. One of the senators we worked with to draft this resolution told us – when this resolution gets a hearing, someone has to show up to testify! We promised we would.
To our surprise, the room was full! Full of people that came from all over to testify in favor of SCR 4014 as well as people there to witness the testimony.
Physical presence wasn’t really necessary. There were over 350 pieces of online testimony that were submitted. ONLY ONE of those was in true opposition! The Energy and Natural Resources Committee didn’t expect much opposition or need for testimony. This is expected to pass both the ND Senate and House very easily, if not unanimously. They allotted 30 minutes for testimony.
The testimony ended up being just under 1 hour! You can watch the entire testimony here: https://video.ndlegis.gov/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20230210/-1/28884
It was a good day for the horses.
It was a good day because so many of you came out with your support. If you couldn’t make it in person, you submitted your testimony online. There was even one person waiting to speak virtually, but time did not allow them to speak.
It was a good way to celebrate Giving Hearts Day! Advocating for the wild horses AT our state capitol! What an honor!
It was a good day!
Imagine my horror as people started sharing negative posts and comments from other pages that they found online with us. People disagreeing with what was being said by people who showed up to speak on behalf of the passage of SCR 4014. We ALL showed up so that everyone else didn’t have to. Instead of saying “Thank you!” speakers were critiqued and called liars.
And there is the problem with advocacy of any kind. The ego always seems to get in the way. The agencies use that to pit us against each other as they weaponize our words.
What you are saying doesn’t resonate with MY TRUTH so YOU are wrong, and I am right and so, we cannot get along. I have a past that is just as guilty of that as the rest.
It is so sad that we chose to focus on the things that divide us instead of the things that unite us. Imagine if every group that advocates specifically FOR the wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home actually worked together. What a unified force to be reckoned with that would be! We asked them. We asked each one of them. When you look at their pages, you can see who responded positively. The request on our part and the offer to attempt to rebuild very broken trust for what was best for the horses was not easy for us and not easy for those who responded.
IT IS ABOUT THE HORSES.
THAT is what makes working together a little easier.
For Giving Hearts Day, we are blessed to be a part of a community of nonprofit groups in our little corner of the state. There are 12 of us that belong to this community. They all come together every year to make Giving Hearts Day the best that it can be for ALL of us. The question was asked by our Dickinson Chamber of Commerce – Why not just fundraise individually?
The answer…(you can view it here: https://fb.watch/iCkVwMRhrA/)
We ALL belong to this community and each one of these groups serves a purpose in our community. Working together helps strengthen our community.
Yes, it is a beautiful and amazing group to belong to. Truly an honor.
I keep thinking how nice it would be to bring that sense of community to our advocacy work with ALL of the groups. Your strength lies here. Mine is here. Then, working together, ALL of those gifts, talents and strengths form a unified voice that works together to save these horses. The truth is, we all have different strengths to bring to the table. A collaboration here would be nothing short of incredible.
What a dream.
Yesterday showed us that it is still just that. A dream of what could be if only what we are all truly fighting for was put FIRST – The horses – instead of each individual person, group or organization.
Thank you again to everyone who showed up yesterday – whether it was in person or through online testimony. Pay no attention to those behind their computers judging the hard work of others. It speaks volumes of their character, not yours.
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.