234 Days   

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

It has been 234 days, or coming up on 8 months, since Theodore Roosevelt National Park announced their plans to eliminate the ENTIRE herd of horses. 

234 days ago, things seemed pretty grim for the TRNP wild horses.  The park’s announcement came out of nowhere.  No one was expecting such a bold move from the park.  Their virtual civic engagement meeting only added to what seemed like impending doom for our beloved wild horses.

I am not exaggerating when I say that every single one of those 234 days, I have done SOMETHING to work toward saving these horses.  Yes, some days were much busier than others. Together, we all started chipping away at what seemed like such a monumental task. 

I was speaking with our North Dakota House Majority Leader, Mike Lefor, last week.  He said to me: “I hope you sincerely take a moment to realize just what you have accomplished!”  When we look back over the last 234 days, together, we have accomplished A LOT!:

  • CHWHA reached out to our North Dakota state legislators and urged them to draft a resolution for the current session asking the park to keep the horses
  • CHWHA helped draft legislation for our North Dakota State Legislators
  • CHWHA found a sponsor AND several co-sponsors for North Dakota Senate Concurrent Resolution SCR-4014.
  • CHWHA worked with our friends at Save Our Wild Horses & Equine Collaborative International on a Zoom meeting to help people understand the NEPA process we are now engaged in and the best ways to comment for the TRNP wild horses. 
  • CHWHA worked with our lawyers to draft our official comment letter.
  • CHWHA advised several of our followers on their own personal comment letters before they sent them in.
  • CHWHA testified at BOTH the ND Senate and House hearings for SCR-4014.
  • CHWHA encouraged our followers to testify either online or in person to both the ND Senate and House Hearings on SCR-4014
  • SCR-4014 passed BOTH the ND House AND Senate UNANIMOUSLY!
  • We have attended community events like Coffee with the Legislators, parades and City Council meetings
  • CHWHA President Chris Kman was invited to speak at the 2nd Annual Save Our Wild Horses conference in Washington DC
  • CHWHA lobbied congress during the conference – we visited over 200 congressional offices
  • CHWHA attended a ceremonial signing of SCR-4014 with Governor Doug Burgum.  Chris Kman was honored to receive the signed copy of the resolution from Governor Burgum
  • CHWHA have been communicating with the MHA Nation and encouraged them to draft their own resolution asking that the park keep the horses.
  • CHWHA attended city council meetings for the City of Medora and brought facts to the two city council meetings where the resolution was discussed.  We helped draft the resolution that passed in a 3-2 vote
  • CHWHA continues to hold our “Horse Talks” as a way to keep the public engaged and also help educate them on different aspects of wild horse advocacy.
  • CHWHA President Chris Kman met with NPS Regional Director Frost and Superintendent Angie Richman to discuss concerns about the use of GonaCon on the mares in TRNP
  • CHWHA held a rally in Medora to bring together organizations and individuals from different areas to speak up about why TRNP should keep the wild horses
  • CHWHA sent HUNDREDS of postcards to Congressman Kelly Armstrong as we worked hard to gain his support
  • CHWHA has remained engaged with ND US Senator John Hoeven and worked with his office for short term federal support for keeping the wild horses (and longhorn cattle) IN Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • CHWHA continues to work with other organizations like American Wild Horse Campaign, Save Our Wild Horses, In Defense of Animals, The Cloud Foundation, and Oregon Wild Horse Organization as well as several photographers to garner support and raise awareness for our TRNP wild horses.
  • CHWHA continues to consult with our lawyers at Eubanks and Associates
  • CHWHA continues to communicate with the press and work to keep the TRNP wild horses in the news.
  • CHWHA sends out monthly press releases as members of the North Dakota Newspaper Association (NDNA)
  • CHWHA creates informative and educational blog posts regularly on our website

Yep!  We have ALL been busy! 

The news we got this week from Senator Hoeven’s office was encouraging.  We hope that you see now how every small step we have taken has led to the news we received this week!  Every little thing ALWAYS matters!

I was talking to one of the news reporters from the state and he told me that once the Draft EA comes out, I should expect every reporter in the state to contact me!  I had a slight wave of anxiety wash over me momentarily lol

This process has literally consumed my life for the last 8 months.  I keep thinking that after the comment period, then after the resolution passes, then after I get back from Washington, DC, etc, – that things will slow down, and my life will go back to “normal”.   I have come to accept that this IS my new “normal”!  We only get one chance to save these horses and we can’t stop now!

We DO need help!  We need volunteers that can help.  We also need financial support.  We are still short about $800 from expenses from the rally.  We have monthly expenses we have to pay for as well as the billboard that we have enough funding for through October.  If you are interested in volunteering to help us, please email us at info@chwha.org.  There are a number of ways that you can help us financially listed on our website: https://chwha.org/support-chwha/

And now that Representative Lefor has helped me see just how busy we have been for the last 8 months, I will be taking a few days off to spend with some friends and family.  I will still be answering emails and PM’s – just please be patient as I may take a little longer than usual to respond. 

I hope that all of you take a moment to catch your breath and do what you want to rejuvenate yourselves.  We still have A LOT of work to do, and it will take each and every one of us working together to save this herd.

THANK YOU for breathing life into the quote that opened today’s blog.  We really ARE making a difference! 

Thank you for your support!  Enjoy your days off!  I sincerely intend on enjoying mine to the fullest!

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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