We know that MANY of you are extremely upset with the information coming out from the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) documents that American Wild Horse Campaign recently received.
So, what can we DO?
We are working on a few different things that we think will be effective as we all continue to advocate for these horses.
For now, here is an EASY call to action:
When Patrick Springer from the Fargo Forum was writing his article that was published yesterday (https://www.inforum.com/news/north-dakota/why-birth-control-could-spell-the-end-of-north-dakotas-wild-horses) he reached out to the park for their response. Angie Richman replied:
“To maintain transparency, information consistency, and equitability all communication pertaining to horse and cattle management can be found on our FAQ page ,”
Until a new plan is in place, she said in the email, the park will continue to manage the horses under a 1978 environmental assessment, which established the 35-to-60-horse herd size goal. “The same management actions that have occurred at the park in the past are being applied now,” Richman said.
We think you will all agree that is NOT an acceptable answer from a federal organization funded by our tax dollars.
Let’s take Superintendent Richman up on her request. Let’s ALL ask some questions in the horse portal they created!
Questions to the park have to be submitted here: https://www.nps.gov/thro/learn/nature/feral-horses.htm
Please make sure your questions are formulated to ask pointed questions. In other words, please don’t express anger or ask questions that will not warrant an answer.
Some questions we suggest are:
- What is your response to what was released in American Wild Horse Campaign’s (AWHC) blog about FOIA documents that they recently obtained? (the blog can be viewed here: (https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/foia-records-raise-questions-sterility-theodore-roosevelt-mares?fbclid=IwAR0ieHhF_KWEfBlBVcH3ijQ2p8sgALs2cUNp9lqiaTym7MTVRXlVuwGmusk)
- Who are the 19 mares that are believed to be permanently sterilized and when did you first receive the information that they may be permanently sterilized?
- In light of what has been revealed in the FOIA documents received by AWHC, will you stop your current practice of using GonaCon on every female horse aged 8 months old and up?
- Is the GonaCon experiment still being conducted in any capacity, either by CSU or TRNP staff?
Again, you are free to ask whatever questions you would like answered. They are supposed to post the answers in a timely manner on the website. We will continue to check and let you know if they answer. If you submit other questions, please let us know!
Also, for those of you who inquired about getting copies of the FOIA documents, AWHC made the handwritten notes available yesterday. You can view them here:
At this time, they are unsure if they will be sharing the rest of the documents. There is a lot more within those pages. Further inspection may result in either a request for additional information or possible litigation. Please understand that it took them over 2 years to receive these documents. Also know that any individual person can request documents from any federal agency under the Freedom of Information Act. Our friends at the Oregon Wild Horse Organization have great examples you can use to file your own on their website: https://www.oregon-wildhorse.org/links-and-tutorials
One last tidbit because so many of you have asked:
- In 2019, there were 36 documented births (10 died; 9 were sold)
- In 2020, there were 42 documented births (8 died; 4 were sold)
In 2020 the park started their current practice of giving every female horse 8 months old and up GonaCon
- In 2021, there were 26 documented births (4 died)
- In 2022, there were 15 documented births (5 died)
- In 2023, so far there has been one documented birth (parents unknown) and that foal died
We will have more calls to action as well as more information to share from the FOIA documents, so be sure to check back!
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.
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