There is a lot of confusion these days about a petition that was started asking for support for North Dakota Senate Concurrent Resolution 4014 and why we are not supportive.
First, I am not joking when I say please watch this short video: https://youtu.be/OgVKvqTItto?si=lcdCz2c3sY6ukj7Y. Saturday morning cartoons used to have a hint of education to them, and I cannot explain this process any clearer than School House Rock did.
When we as citizens want something to change, how do we do that?
We contact our elected officials! We all have elected officials on a state and a federal level.
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates has been reaching out to our state and federal delegates since 2018 asking for help for the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park!
An important note: The North Dakota State Legislators are ONLY in session once every 2 years for 80 days. We were extremely grateful that they were in session this year when Theodore Roosevelt National Park announced their plans to eliminate the ENTIRE herd of wild horses in December of 2022.
When the Park made their announcement, we reached out to our state and federal delegates again.
We asked our state legislators – “WHAT CAN WE DO?”
Their response was that they could draft a resolution asking the Park to allow the wild horses to stay.
After weeks of talking to numerous state legislators, the birth of SCR 4014 started. Honestly, more like the labor pains! Lol
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates FULLY AND COMPLETELY supported SCR 4014! We supported it so much that we helped draft the legislation and we worked hard to find ND state legislators to sponsor the resolution during the last ND state legislative session.
We were successful in finding 6 of our North Dakota state legislators to sponsor and co-sponsor this resolution.
CHWHA also testified at every committee hearing.
In April of 2023 SCR 4014 passed UNANIMOUSLY in both the ND House and the ND Senate.
The resolution was then sent to the ND Secretary of State to sign and send to the National Park Service and our North Dakota Federal Delegates.
This resolution DID NOT require the signature of Governor Doug Burgum because it was a resolution not a bill or law.
Governor Burgum, understanding how much these horses mean to not just the people of North Dakota, but people from other states and countries, decided to do a “ceremonial signing” of SCR 4014 to stress the importance of these horses by the state of North Dakota.
We were there. He handed us the copy of the resolution he signed after the ceremony.
Then, CHWHA took copies of that signed resolution to about 250 members of congress when we lobbied them in April of 2023. This was to help raise awareness about the current plight of the wild horses in TRNP, also to help educate members of congress and ask them to support any legislation that might help our horses. At that time, the ONLY legislation we knew that might help was the Interior Department Appropriations Bill. Senator John Hoeven added language to that bill asking the National Park Service to allow the horses to stay. That legislation has also passed.
I do not think that we could support this resolution any more than we already did.
I do not think that our North Dakota state legislators could support this any more than they did. 100% of them voted for this resolution. How do you support something more than 100%?
AND remember – THE NORTH DAKOTA STATE LEGISLATORS ARE NOT IN SESSION AGAIN UNTIL 2025!!
I do not think that Governor Doug Burgum, who is now running for President, could support SCR 4014 any more than he already did.
This petition is confusing because it is asking the petition signers to let people who already overwhelmingly supported this legislation that has already passed with flying colors that we support them signing the legislation.
Remember simple civics:
We want change
We contact our legislators
They decide on how they can help us get that change
They do the thing that gets the change
And then we move on.
It is time to move on from SCR 4014. Our ND State Legislators have. Governor Doug Burgum has.
For example: and this is in no way a debate on Roe v Wade – just an example:
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.
People who agree with their decision are no longer picketing or lobbying for Roe to be overturned – BECAUSE IT WAS!
Likewise, our legislation, SCR 4014, was also passed. There is NOTHING more to do and no more support that we can get for legislation that has already passed.
The worst part of this is when we say to people “Please make sure you take a moment to send a comment to the Park” and give them the link, people say, “I did, I signed the petition.”
We cannot stress this enough:
The #1 thing that you can do to help these horses RIGHT NOW is to send your own personal, educated, SUBSTANTIVE comment to the Park.
That can ONLY be done on the Park’s website: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=167&projectID=105110&documentID=132035
Or by sending it in by mail to: Superintendent, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, P.O. Box 7, Medora, ND 58645.
Comments on posts, emails to anyone, and signing petitions DOES NOT replace your comment.
We have 12 days left to get your comments in.
We also want to address two other things that have come up:
We do keep saying that you can comment more than once. We also have ALWAYS recommended that you open a new blank Word document and take time to craft your letter. We have let people know who have said, “Oh, I already sent my comment, I wish I added that.” That they CAN comment again.
Just under 20,000 people commented last time. This is NOT about getting some crazy number of comments.
This is about getting as many well-crafted, SUBSTANTIVE comments to the Park by November 24th so that they become part of the Public Record.
Second, please never be afraid to ask anyone you are making a donation to where your money is going. There are several other pages and organizations that are asking for donations to help the TRNP wild horses. The only one that is helping us in any way financially is American Wild Horse Campaign.
We just received a legal bill in the amount of $1100 for consultations about the Draft EA, for our lawyer being a part of the Horse Talk to answer your questions and for the beginning of their work on our comment letter before AWHC agreed to sign on and help with the cost.
We also have $975 that will be due at the end of this month for our billboard on I-94.
We have spent over $2,000 advertising on social media, and in print in The Dickinson Press and online at Forum Communications.
All of that is in addition to website fees, zoom subscriptions, printed materials, etc.
If you want to make sure you are helping us, please see our website for ways that you can donate to help us continue to Fight for the Spirit of the Badlands: https://chwha.org/support-chwha/
Thank you for your support. We hope this blog helped answer your questions. As always, feel free to email us at http://info@chwha or PM us on social media with any additional questions.