If you have been watching the North Dakota legislative website https://ndlegis.gov/assembly/68-2023/regular/bill-actions/ba4014.html?bill_year=2023&bill_number=4014), now that Concurrent Resolution SCR 4014 passed UNIANIMOUSLY in our ND Senate, it has now moved to the ND House.
We spoke with Representative Vicky Steiner yesterday. Representative Steiner is one of our ND legislators that introduced this legislation. She said that they will only be in session this week through Wednesday so we probably won’t see any movement on it this week. We are also coming to “Crossover” time in this ND legislative period. That means that legislation now moves from its originating chamber, in the case of SCR 4014, the North Dakota Senate, to the other chamber.
There will be testimony given in the North Dakota House just like there was in the North Dakota Senate. We will update you on when that opens for public testimony.
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates will also be at the Capitol in Bismarck to testify in person.
While we are waiting for SCR 4014 to be heard in the ND House, we are collecting your testimony! We know many of you were frustrated at the way documents had to be uploaded on the state’s website. We have a NEW “Call to Action” section on our website: https://chwha.org/calls-to-action/. The first “Call to Action” we have is for you to follow the link provided that will collect all of your comments. We will submit them as one document electronically and also bring them with us and present them to the committee when we are there in person to testify.
There is a strong misconception that since SCR 4014 passed the ND Senate and since our ND Governor Burgum has been so vocal about keeping the horses in the park, that the horses are now “safe”.
You know what they say – NEVER ASS/U/ME!
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is continuing their NEPA process. And they SHOULD! They received over 6,000 UNIQUE comments during this comment period. They SHOULD now be looking at what other suggested alternatives to consider, along with the 3 they proposed. They will then perform an Environmental Assessment (EA) on those alternatives and be back in the spring to let us know those results.
Those results SHOULD mean that they complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) but the park seemed pretty firm on simply completing an EA, so we will see what happens come springtime!
Many of you have also written to us concerned about the working in SCR 4014. This is NOT the draft we submitted, BUT it is a draft that got more support from legislators near the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where the longhorn cattle are. More support is GOOD! The resolution had to change to accommodate them too.
Part of the support for the resolution came from the ND Livestock Assn. They also submitted a revision request to the ND Senate. Again, their support is good, even if what was added talked about the benefits of “livestock”. A term we are all against being used for the horses.
When we testified, Senator Magrum asked us “Where does this go from here?” He was concerned that this resolution really doesn’t have any “teeth” – what stops the park from taking the horses anyway.
What he said is true, and for clarity, Theodore Roosevelt National Park falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, a federal agency.
SCR 4014 is a resolution that was drafted by the State of North Dakota that simply asks the Department of the Interior, The Director of the National Park Service and our federal delegates to allow the wild horses and longhorn cattle to remain in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
For Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates, this is only one piece of the picture being put together to help save these horses. THIS was/is a very important step! It was because of SCR 4014 that we have gotten the support of Governor Burgum, Senator Cramer and Senator Hoeven.
There are several other steps that we still have to take to get these horses protected.
Inch by inch – remember?
You will notice that Congressman Kelly Armstrong’s name is missing above. We contact his office every week asking if he has a press release that he would like us to share with our followers stating that he supports the horses staying in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
At this time, he does not.
Once we collect all of your comments, they will not only be shared with the North Dakota House, but we can also send a copy to Congressman Armstrong in our weekly emails to his office.
There IS truly strength in numbers!
What should you comment?
We are asking that you keep it simple. It can be as simple as saying “Please pass SCR 4014”. You DO NOT need scientific or historical information but can share it if you have it. You can write a story about what these horses mean to you – whatever YOU want your place in this moment of history to remember you by! THIS will become part of the testimony for SCR 4014! You DO NOT have to live in the state of North Dakota to send us your comments or testify to the ND House!
We have reached out to the House Majority Leader, Mike Lefor and will update you on his comments on the movement we can expect for SCR 4014 now that it is in the ND House. We will also let you know when online testimony opens for SCR 4014 in the ND House.
Again, THIS is just one piece of the picture we are pulling together to save these horses. There will be more “Calls to Action” coming this week, so please keep checking our blog and our NEW “Calls to Action” page https://chwha.org/calls-to-action/.
Did you know that you can subscribe to be notified every time we update our website? This can be done from the bottom of our home page https://chwha.org/.
Lastly, please considering making a donation to help support our advocacy work. There are several ways you can donate listed on our website (https://chwha.org/support-chwha/) INCLUDING purchasing our Fighting for the Spirit of the Badlands apparel. You can order yours through 3/1/2023! We listed some of the ways your donation helps support our work on another blog post earlier today: https://chwha.org/2023/02/19/3145/
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.