Hello and Happy Wednesday!
Have you read Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s Draft Environmental Assessment yet? EVERY person advocating for these horses needs to make sure they are educated and know what the proposed plans are for our beloved wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
We have 28 days to comment in this next public comment period.
We have heard about the MILLIONS of people who love and follow this herd across all of the different social media pages.
WHERE ARE YOU?!
ONLY 19,000 of those MILLIONS commented in the last comment period.
These horses need EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US to be their voice!
One of the first things that we did since the park made their announcement was reach out to Superintendent Angie Richman. We sent her the following email:
Thank you for releasing the long-awaited Draft EA.
As I am sure you are aware, 43 CFR § 46.135 states: Publications incorporated into NEPA analysis by reference must be listed in the bibliography. Such publications must be readily available for review and, when not readily available, they must be made available for review as part of the record supporting the proposed action.
Your Draft EA cites a 2020 study done by Brownlee, et al. 2020. When can we expect this document to be added to the website with the other management documents so that the public can review its contents prior to submitting their comments?
She has responded to us and let us know that the park is working on a resolution to this issue. We will let you know when that report is released for public review.
We have contacted the Medora City Council and are on the schedule to speak at their meeting on October 3, 2023.
We have been talking to the press and have appointments all week with different media outlets. PLEASE write your letters to the editor of your own newspapers!
We have also been talking to Senator Hoeven’s office. They will be circling back with us at the end of the week. You may have heard on the news yesterday that we are trying to get the 30-day comment period extended. That is something that Senator Hoeven’s office is currently working on. We will let you know if they are able to get the comment period extended. Until we hear otherwise, assume the clocking is ticking to that October 25, 2023 deadline.
We have also talked with some of our state legislators. They too will be circling back with us at the end of this week so that we can talk about how we can work together to advocate together for these horses to maximize our impact.
Governor Doug Burgum released this statement yesterday:
“We continue to urge the National Park Service to maintain a herd of wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, just as wild horses roamed those lands during Roosevelt’s transformative years in the Badlands, when President Truman signed the bill creating the park in 1947 and when it received official national park status in 1978,” Burgum said. “These horses are a hugely popular tourist attraction, embodying the untamed spirit of the Badlands while also reminding us of the deep ties to Roosevelt’s ranching and conservation legacy. As we’ve expressed repeatedly to the NPS and Director Sams, the state remains ready and willing to collaborate with the Park Service to keep wild horses in the park in a manner and number that supports genetic diversity and protects the park for visitors now and long into the future.”
Senator Hoeven, Governor Burgum, our North Dakota state legislators, and we here at Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates have NOT given up despite how gloomy the Draft EA looks for our beloved wild horses. We are asking that you don’t give up either! These horses need every single one of us!
Many of you have asked about a lawsuit or why we are not suing the park.
The park is in the middle of a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process. This process has to play out before any legal action can be taken. This is just the beginning of what we expect to be a very long fight.
Please also understand, Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates is working with the law firm of Eubanks and Associates. We have been working with them for years and trust the advice they give us. When and if the time comes that they advise us to file a lawsuit against the park, that cost will be significant.
As you can see by the Draft EA, there is a very good chance that the fate of these horses may end up being decided in the courts. We need to start preparing for that now. Since Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates has been leading the fight to save these horses, several of the pages/organizations that follow these horses share our information and our posts. We are grateful for that, but we do not get any financial help from any of those groups. Legal fees currently take up a big chunk of our budget. This is an area where we need to be PROACTIVE. Please consider making a donation to help support our critical advocacy work as we continue our Fight for the Spirit of the Badlands.
We WILL be having our legal team work with us on our next comment letter. We will let you know that cost when they let us know.
Thank you for your support and as promised, later today we will begin going over the 97 page report the park released this week.