Hello and Happy Monday to everyone!
It has been a busy week already!!!!
We are NINE days out from the current end of this public comment period. As I mentioned yesterday, I did email Theodore Roosevelt National Park to inquire about our extension request. I got an automatic reply from Superintendent Richman saying that she was out of the office until 10/18/2023. So, I emailed her boss, Regional Director Bert Frost to ask him. His response today was:
We received your request and I believe Superintendent acknowledged that we did. As she stated, we are taking it under consideration and we will let you know either way, once a decision has been made.
So maybe when Superintendent Richman gets back on the 18th we will have an answer. Our request was sent on October 6th and we requested a response last week. Our lawyers said that requests are usually granted at the last minute. Apparently, this is a tactic used often within the Department of the Interior for apparent reasons.
The REAL purpose of this post today is to remind you that we have a very critical Call to Action that we asked all of you to do last week. This has to do with Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act. If you read NPS 2022h before it disappeared from the Park’s planning website, there was A LOT of discussion under Section 106. If you have not read the NPS 2022h document – you can read it here:
This interview with Robert Utley also explains Section 106. Bob Utley worked for the National Park Service for YEARS. He helped WRITE The Historic Preservation Act. I was honored to speak with him several times via email before he passed away. He died KNOWING the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park SHOULD be protected under Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act.
We KNOW that Theodore Roosevelt National Park will do ALL they can to dismiss any historical or cultural significance of these horses.
THEY DO NOT MAKE THAT FINAL DECISION on the cultural and historical significance of this herd! I received this information from a follower today who is well versed in the duties of the State Historical Preservation Office:
As part of FEDERAL LAW – there is a 1966 federal Historic Preservation Act law as amended requires all public agencies to cooperate with State Historic Preservation Offices in protecting historic resources by making a determination of historic significance and any potential negative effects of proposed actions.
It starts with the State Historic Preservation Officer (Bill Peterson) making a determination if the property (in this case, the National Park) is historically significant according to NPS National Register guidelines.
A lot of State Historic Preservation Office staff time is necessary to make a meaningful review, so the determination letter is usually quite short and not supported with much narrative. Something like, “of course it’s historically significant under NRHP criterion “A” for the Park’s “embodiment of broad patterns of historical events associated with the design and construction by NPS and other federal agencies (CCC, WPA) cooperating with the North Dakota State Historical Society, to establish a memorial park in the North Dakota Badlands commemorating the influence of that landscape on President Theodore Roosevelt.”
At a minimum, IF the State Historical Preservation Office finds the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park to be historically and culturally significant within the state of North Dakota, it will help strengthen our argument for a detailed Environmental Impact Statement to be performed INSTEAD OF a FONSI (Finding Of No Significant Impact) – which is what the Park wants to do!
The State Historical Preservation Office tries to formulate an informed judgment based on evidence. They DO understand how this process works, though, so important to let them know that the public is concerned.
We are asking again, PLEASE send a snail mail letter to the State Historic Preservation Office. I know – snail mail letters are a pain! But what will be a bigger pain is if the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park are removed from the boundaries of the only home they have ever known. THAT is the reality of where we are folks. Please take 5 minutes to send your letter! You DO NOT have to live in the state of North Dakota to have your voice heard.
Your letter can be customized in whatever way you choose, but please, use these lines specifically:
I am writing to request that the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park be considered a significant cultural resource to the state of North Dakota.
Your letter should be sent to:
North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office
612 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505
Attn: Bill Peterson
Thank you for your support and PLEASE share this information far and wide. THIS is a REAL way you can help make a difference in the outcome for the wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home.
Thank you for your continued support and for fighting so hard with us to save this herd!