There is A LOT going on and we fully expect our lives to be hectic through at least 10/25!
First, if you remember, last week we mentioned that there were documents referenced in the Draft EA that were not made available to the public. We sent an email to Superintendent Angie Richman reminding her that 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.
We also reminded Superintendent Richman that the date they chose for their Virtual Public Meeting was in conflict with the ONLY Medora City Council meeting that would be held before the October 25th deadline. This is important because that means that the mayor of Medora along with city council member and other local business owners would NOT be able to be a part of the civic engagement meeting for this comment period.
Superintendent Richman responded last week and stated that they were working to correct the publication issue and they had cancelled the virtual meeting and would be rescheduling.
TODAY we received the following email from Superintendent Richman about the above concerns:
I wanted to let you know that we have now placed most of the documents from the appendix on the planning website. Some of these documents are not publicly accessible and we will have a pdf up shortly with links to find them. In case you need it again here is the web address: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/LP
You can find updated info on the public meeting as well.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Medora, ND 58645
Next, we wanted to let you know that the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce will be sending this message in their weekly ENews emails that go out every Tuesday to every member of the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce. This message will reach over 1,000 inboxes every week from now through 10/24/2023!
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates (CHWHA) has been leading the fight to save the iconic herd of horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. On September 25th, the park released their Draft Environmental Assessment. As of this writing, the Park does not plan to keep horses in the park in any scenario. Several alternatives have been presented but dismissed from further analysis. These are summarized HERE. The Park also states HERE that the removal of horses will have little to no economic impact on the state of North Dakota, the city of Medora, or surrounding communities like Dickinson. CHWHA disputes these claims. The Draft Environmental Assessment is now available for your review and public comment. For more information, follow the links that have been provided. Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates hopes that you will join in the Fight for the Spirit of the Badlands.
Visit the CHWHA Website
In addition to that, this Thursday, October 5, 2023, the Dickinson Chamber will be sending that message above in an email by itself to those same 1,000 + inboxes!
Today, we also forwarded the Dickinson Chamber ENews message to the members of the Medora Chamber of Commerce. We added the following message to the Medora Chamber members:
Fellow Medora Chamber members:
As we are sure you are aware, last week Theodore Roosevelt National Park released their Draft Environmental Assessment (EA). The Draft EA is not favorable at all for keeping the horses. More importantly, the Park addressed the topic of economic concerns in this document and found that removing the horses (either some of all) will have little to no impact on the economy of businesses in North Dakota, Medora or the surrounding communities.
As small business owners in Medora, you have no doubt heard the same concerns we all have this summer from visitors and know that the Parks claims could not be further from the truth.
I called to have this topic put on the agenda for TOMORROW’s (10/3) Medora City Council meeting.
The Park will also once again be hosting a VIRTUAL public meeting on October 10th at 6 pm MST. Please note that the original virtual meeting date was scheduled for October 3rd. We brought the scheduling conflict to the attention of Superintendent Richman, so she changed the date.
We fully believe that if the Park is going to make claims that minimize the economic impact of the horses to tourism, that they should AT LEAST give the officials and business community of Medora the courtesy of an in person meeting. I made that request and Superintendent Richman denied that request. Please feel free to make your own request to Superintendent Richman (Angie_Richman@nps.gov) and NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost (Bert_Frost@nps.gov)
Our organization is working with Senator Hoeven’s office. His office stated that they were going to ask for an extension to the October 25th deadline for public comments. We have not heard if the Park has granted his request.
If this is truly a concern for your business in Medora, it is time for you to speak up with your concerns to Theodore Roosevelt National Park!
At the very least please make sure you read the Draft EA and please make sure you comment! Raising awareness about this issue is something we need help with. We post daily on social media: https://www.facebook.com/ChasingHorsesWHA
The email below is something our organization worked with the Dickinson Chamber on. It will be sent as an EBlast on Thursday to members of the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce. The links to the Park Planning website are listed in the email below.
Gary and I are always available to answer any questions you may have about the process the park is currently engaged in or any other questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to stop by our Chasing Horses store or send us an email at email@example.com.
Chris & Gary Kman
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates
Thank you for your support and have a great day!