Hello and Happy Tuesday to everyone!
We are going to start pulling all of the information that we have shared together so that you can see how easy it is to write a SUBSTANTIVE comment to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Remember: If you are NOT a scientist, a historian, a lawyer, etc., now is NOT the time to try to sound like one. Those people are writing their comment letters in great detail.
” 43 C.F.R. § 46.110(c) states: “[t]he Responsible Official must, whenever practicable, use a consensus-based management approach to the NEPA process; see also Nat. Park Serv., National Park Service NEPA Handbook at 55 (2015). This means that NPS “should consider any consensus-based alternative(s) put forth by those participating persons, organizations or communities who may be interested in or affected by the proposed action.” Id. § 46.110(b).And, where the decision-maker finds “that the consensus-based alternative, if any, is not the preferred alternative, he or she must state the reasons for this determination in the environmental document.” Id. § 46.110(d).
This means that the more consensus we can build around a certain alternative, the better because NPS has a regulatory duty to seriously consider any such alternative (or, explain why it hasn’t).
What is the “consensus” we are trying to build?
We think everyone will agree with the following points:
- The wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park should NOT be considered livestock
- The Purpose & Need statement is too narrowly focused
- The Park needs to take a “HARD LOOK” at the economic impact of their decision
- The Park needs to take a “HARD LOOK” at the historical and cultural significance of this herd
- The Park needs to consider an alternative that allows for a genetically viable herd of horses to remain in the park
- The Park needs to perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
I have been asked several times to make the talking points we have on our website into a document that people can copy and paste into the online comment form. I will not do that.
While I understand that people are busy and having a form that can be easily copied and pasted into the website would be a way to generate more comments, consider this:
- If we create a form letter for you to send in and 1000 people send in that same letter – IT ONLY COUNTS AS ONE COMMENT!
- If you have fallen in love with these horses, either because you have witnessed their amazing beauty in person or through any of the social media outlets that share their photos, it is time to give back to what they have given to all of us! Can you spare maybe 10-30 minutes to be the voice for these 200 wild horses?
As we now begin sharing samples of ways to write an impactful comment letter, I am going to ask that you PLEASE refrain from simply copying and pasting what we share here. If you copy and paste into your own word document, use the thesaurus or synonym feature in Word. Rearrange the sentences into your own voice. BE ORIGINAL. It really is not that hard to do! Remember: BE RESPECTFUL.
The very first thing I want everyone to do is write a letter to the Park letting them know exactly how you feel about their plans to eliminate the entire herd of horses from the boundaries of the park. Give it to them! Let them know how angry they have made you. Don’t forget some comments we have heard from all of you:
- I will never come back to the park if the horses are removed!
- I hope that when this is all over that you guys lose your jobs and people who actually care about these horses replace you!
- Our tax dollars pay for this park and we should have a say in what happens in our national park!
- This is government bureaucracy at its finest!
- These horses are part of our nation’s history!
- Stop trying to erase history!
- Future generations deserve to see these amazing wild horses!
- STOP destroying EVERYTHING!
- These horses are a tourist attraction for the state!
- LEAVE THEM ALONE!
- STOP THE MADNESS!!
- What a criminal act!
- THE HORSES WERE HERE FIRST!!
- THIS IS BULLSHIT! (and whatever other swear words you want to insert)
You get the idea.
Write from your heart.
Write from your anger.
Write from that place that feels so much disappointment in the Park’s decision.
That is your “homework” for today. Write your letter, from your heart, with all the feelings attached. Without science. Without historical facts. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and let your heart and even your anger fill the page.
DO NOT send this into the Park – yet! We have some more work to do on your personal comment letter. We STILL have 17 days left to perfect your letter! If you feel a need to share your letter somewhere right now, feel free to email it to us at email@example.com.
Bring that letter back here tomorrow. Just like your comment letter to the Park, you might come back with just one line written on your paper. You might have a paragraph, a page or maybe even 10 pages! Let whatever comes out come out! There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do this.
We will see you back here tomorrow!
On another note…
Our advertising is working! We are now engaging over 250,000 people (that is an increase of over 146%!!) per week on our social media pages and our website traffic is up 115%!!!
Can you help us keep these ads running? Any donation helps! There are several ways you can donate listed on our website: https://chwha.org/support-chwha/
Second, we have several 1 page FACT sheets that we have been passing out to local businesses and posting around Medora & Dickinson to help raise awareness about this comment period. Can you help us spread the word? Simply send us an email and let us know how many of each you would like and we will get them off in the mail to you! You can view our print materials here: https://chwha.org/join-the-fight/
Third – don’t forget we are holding another silent auction on November 24th! Do you have some items you can donate to help our silent auction be a success? You can upload your items on our website: https://chwha.betterworld.org/donate-an-item or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you can donate.
Remember: any donations you make to Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates is 100% tax deductible!
Thank you for your support and have a GREAT day!