Hello and Happy Saturday!
We sent a formal invitation to Regional Director Herbert Frost and Superintendent Angie Richman.
Do you have your rally tickets yet? Remember, if you can’t make it in person, we can donate your ticket to a student so they can attend! You can grab your tickets here: https://secure.everyaction.com/PxHqB9hccEGGUpiO1TTxmQ2
Here is our letter to Director Frost and Superintendent Richman. You can read more about NPS Director’s Order #75A that we reference here: https://www.nps.gov/policy/DOrders/75A.htm
NPS Director Sams, Secretary Haaland, some of our ND State Legislators, along with contacts from our federal delegates were also cc’d on the email.
Director Frost and Superintendent Richman:
Hello! I wanted to take this opportunity to formally invite you to our Fighting for the Spirit of the Badlands: The Bully Pulpit Rally on July 13, 2023. The event will be held at the Medora Community Center located at 465 Pacific Ave in Medora and will begin at 9 am.
The purpose of this rally is to respectfully share concerns from the community of supporters who want to see both the wild horses and the longhorn cattle stay in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We have commitments from people all across the US that will share the environmental, scientific, economic, historical, cultural and social aspects of why the Park should allow both to remain within their boundaries. Additionally, every non-profit organization that specifically advocates for these horses will be represented at the rally.
As I am sure you are aware, NPS Director’s Order #75A states:
“The purpose of this Director’s Order (DO) is to articulate our commitment to civic engagement, and to have all National Park Service units and offices embrace civic engagement as the essential foundation and framework for creating plans and developing programs. Civic engagement is a continuous, dynamic conversation with the public on many levels that reinforces public commitment to the preservation of heritage resources, both cultural and natural, and strengthens public understanding of the full meaning and contemporary relevance of these resources. The foundation of civic engagement is a commitment to building and sustaining relationships with neighbors and communities of interest.”
DO #75A goes on to state:
“Building successful relationships depends upon active and open communication. Service employees and partners must continually keep this larger aspect of their public service and public trust in mind. This philosophy means that we do more than meet the minimum legal requirements for public involvement in our decisions and activities. It means a regular, natural and sustained level of interaction with people, both from within and outside the NPS.”
I could continue quoting DO #75A, but I am sure you get the point I am trying to make.
With all due respect, this is something that has been missing from Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s current livestock management planning process. The public feels like the Park is telling us that they are removing the wild horses and longhorn cattle, despite overwhelming public outcry. Recent attempts by Park management at fulfilling their “civic engagement” requirements have only added to the public feeling insignificant in this process.
Further, the strain on the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the community of Medora has been noted in continued “No comment” responses to our local media as well as the Park’s decision to refrain from participating in local community events they normally would, such as the 2023 Medora season kick off barbeque.
At the end of the day, the public wants what is best for the Park. We believe that there are significant reasonable facts that should be considered in the current management planning process. Your attendance at this rally would go a long way in not only complying with DO #75A, but also repairing relationships with the state and local community who feel that their valid concerns have been disregarded by the Park during this process.
The North Dakota Historical Society has recognized this rally as an important time in our state’s history. They plan to archive items from this event in an attempt to help preserve that history. I hope that when this history is documented, it will show that the Park worked hard to “build successful relationships through active and open communication.” We do hope that the Park will “do more than meet the minimum legal requirements for public involvement in your decisions and activities.”
This will be best shown to the public through your attendance at our rally.
Please feel free to extend this invitation to any other Theodore Roosevelt National Park personnel that would be interested in attending with you or representing the Park in the event of your absence at the rally.
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates
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.