What a day this has been!! THANK YOU to everyone who shared and participated in our urgent call to action today. I apologize but things happened so fast today, I did my best to get as much information out to as many people as possible to give this call to action the best chance at success.
First – THANK YOU to everyone who sent emails to our North Dakota State Legislators! This is something we have been working very hard on all week, so I wanted to take a moment to explain what is happening and why…
Our North Dakota State Legislators are “part time politicians” meaning – they are ONLY in session for 80 days every 2 years!
THANKFULLY they were in session this year and as you remember, earlier this year we worked with them to draft ND Senate Concurrent Resolution 4014 which asked Theodore Roosevelt National Park to allow the wild horses to STAY in the park.
The North Dakota State Legislators are not scheduled to be back in session until 2025.
The North Dakota Supreme Court struck down some important budget legislation as unconstitutional. That means that the legislators have to come back into session to take care of that budget legislation per orders by the ND Supreme Court.
Since they are coming back into session, Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates has been in communication with ND House Majority Leader Representative Mike Lefor. Representative Lefor has been a huge supporter of our fight to save the TRNP wild horses. We have been urging our legislators to take stronger action to protect the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
This week, I worked with Patience O’Dowd from Wild Horse Observers Association to draft the legislation that we submitted to the North Dakota State Legislators today. I also have to say THANK YOU to our friends at Oregon Wild Horse Organization and American Wild Horse Campaign for all of their help and support this week!
We had until 5 pm CST TODAY (10/19/2023) to have our North Dakota Wild Horse Preservation Act submitted to the committee who will decide TOMORROW when they meet at 10 am CST #1- IF they will allow other legislation into this special session and #2 – WHAT legislation they will allow into this special session.
At 4:30 CST, Representative Josh Boschee called to talk to me about the North Dakota Wild Horse Protection Act. He agreed to get it submitted for us TODAY by the 5 pm CST deadline and has promised that IF additional legislation is allowed, he will speak up for the North Dakota Wild Horse Preservation Act to the committee on our behalf!!!! THANK YOU REPRESENTATIVE BOSCHEE!!!!
A few notes…
Representative Boschee said that IF the North Dakota Wild Horse Preservation Act is NOT allowed into this special session, our followers should NOT be discouraged or take it personally.
The ND Legislators prefer to come into this session and just take care of what they have been mandated to come back and take care of. They do not want extra legislation introduced.
HOWEVER, since Governor Burgum has a couple of pieces of legislation he wants introduced, that is opening the door to the option for other legislation to also be introduced.
The question of what is critical and has to be heard RIGHT NOW as opposed to what can wait until the next regular session when the legislators reconvene in 2025 will be discussed IF they allow other legislation.
Our North Dakota State Legislators are aware of how important the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park are to the public and the passion that drives our advocacy. I have been told by several legislators that it is understandable that this legislation would be critical to hear right now. As we have noted, in 2025 there might not be any wild horses in TRNP for them to take action for, if they do not take action now. I personally spoke with several ND Legislators today who said they would support the North Dakota Wild Horse Preservation Act!!
Representative Boschee promised to keep me posted on how the day develops tomorrow. We will share any information as we get it with all of you.
There are A LOT of other things that happened today. We will talk about most of that tomorrow. It has been a REALLY long day for me. We continue to do what we can with what we have from where we are – without a doubt! We promise, we are NOT leaving ANY stone unturned in our fight to save these horses!
In case you missed it, our extension request WAS granted today! The NEW deadline to submit your comments is November 24, 2023. We will talk more about this in the coming days too.
To be honest, yesterday was a tough day for me and it didn’t look like we would be able to get any legislation submitted for us. I was upset and discouraged. I cried for a moment and took a nap! This morning I woke up and decided it was a new day and knew that there were mountains to be moved. THANK YOU to all of you who literally helped us move mountains today! I cannot fully express how critical all of your actions today were and how much I appreciate each and every one of you!
Thank you again for your support and have a great night!