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NPS holds meeting on future of Roosevelt's wild horses

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David Lee
/
North Dakota Tourism
Wild horses in TRNP

Amid growing controversy, the National Park Service will hold a virtual public meeting on January 12th at 6 pm MT to take public comments and discuss the future of the wild horses in Teddy Roosevelt National Park. The agency is considering reducing the current herd of 185 to between 35 and 60 horses or removing the herd from the park altogether.

Grace Kuhn is communications director for the American Wild horse campaign.

"The National Park Service wants to make a decision on what to do with these horses, because currently they have a management plant hat's almost 50 years old, so it hasn't been updated since 1978. While we believe that this management plan needs to be updated, we are in opposition to the current preferred alternative that the agency is putting forth. That proposal is to completely eliminate all of the horses within the park."

Kuhn says the horses have roamed North Dakota’s badlands for centuries and are believed to be the descendants of Sitting Bull's horses as well as related to the rare Nokota breed.

"The National Park Service has been keeping their populations extremely low, they want them to be between 30 to 60 horses and that's not even genetically viable. We believe that they should be keeping a population of about 150 to 200 horses on the land. Nonprofit organizations are ready and willing to help the Park Service with implementing this fertility control program at no cost to the Park Service. There's just a better way to be doing this than to remove a historic herd of horses, because once they're gone, they're gone forever."

Link for meeting:
National Park Service - PEPC - Meeting Notices (nps.gov)