ADVISORY: Feds to Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Future of North Dakota’s Historic Wild Horse Herd

January 11, 2023

 MEDORA, North Dakota — Amid growing controversy, the National Park Service (NPS) will hold a virtual public informational session tomorrow to discuss the future of the historic wild horses in the Teddy Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) in Medora. The meeting will be followed by a Q&A session with a panel of NPS staff and subject matter experts. 

  • What: Livestock Plan Virtual Public Scoping Meeting
  • Who: National Park Service
  • When: Thursday, Jan 12, 20223, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mountain
  • Where: Virtual - Microsoft Teams
    • A virtual public scoping meeting will be held via Microsoft Teams and can be accessed on both desktop computers and mobile devices. See the link here to access. If you plan to join by phone, please dial: +1 202-640-1187 and Conference ID: 217 751 076 #

In December, the NPS announced a public comment scoping period to assist with the development of a management plan for the iconic horse herd within the TRNP. The agency is considering three alternatives: reducing the current herd of 185 to between 35 and 60 horses, an expedited reduction of the wild horses to a population of zero, and a phased reduction of the wild horses until a population of zero is achieved - its preferred plan.

"Over 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt recognized the essential place of wild horses in the landscape of the North Dakota Badlands," said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC). "The Conservation President would be outraged by the National Park Service’s decision to eliminate this heritage herd. Like so many other Americans, he would know there's a better way—a humane and sustainable management plan that protects these horses for generations to come."

The organization charges that the TRNP horses have roamed North Dakota’s badlands for centuries and are believed to be the descendants of Sitting Bull's horses and related to the rare Nokota breed. Also significant, the horses represent a tourism draw to the surrounding local communities. 

AWHC says TRNP officials should adopt a management plan that uses current science and herd data to maintain a minimum herd size of at least 150 horses to ensure a genetically viable herd — a number recently recommended by a prominent equine geneticist, and Texas A&M University professor, Dr. Gus Cothan. 

The NPS is accepting public comments on the proposed plan for the TRNP horses until January January 31, 2023, online through the PEPC website at:


The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. In addition to advocating for the protection and preservation of America’s wild herds, AWHC implements the largest wild horse fertility control program in the world through a partnership with the State of Nevada for wild horses that live in the Virginia Range near Reno.