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Hoeven: Wild horses will still run through Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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(The Center Square) – The wild horses won’t be kept away from North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park after all, according to U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

The National Park Service is abandoning its plan to remove the horses, which have roamed through the park for decades, the senator said Thursday.

“These wild horses are emblematic of President Theodore Roosevelt’s time in North Dakota, a formative experience that shaped his presidency and lasting legacy,” Hoeven said. “Given the broad public support for maintaining the wild horses at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, as well as the measure we passed through Congress, this is the right call by NPS.”

The NPS proposed two options in September 2023. One would have removed the horses immediately, while another one would have reduced the number gradually.

The NPS said in its report the removal of the horses would have minimal impact on the number of visitors, even among vendors who offer photography tours that include the horses.

“In 2021, there were 16 days of photography tours in the Park with reported revenue of approximately $12,000,” the report said. “Thus, the number of annual tour participants is reportedly low. One of the companies providing horse photography tours indicated that only 1% of its revenue was from photography tours of the Park.”

Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Legislature supported allowing the horses to stay at the park.

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