corolla’s wild horses: curiosity and controversy
Here’s an interesting article about the Corolla wild horses that appears on Green Global Travel, an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation and cultural preservation magazine.
“When we first began planning our visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I had no idea that there was any controversy about the wild horses. But when I received the following email from a manager of two National Wildlife Refuges in the area after inquiring about visiting, my curiosity was piqued:
“I try to stay far away from the wild horse issue. On a refuge purchased and managed for migratory birds (Currituck), any horses, cows, or other critters that compete with these birds for food are a problem. But the ‘Corolla wild horses’ are a huge political issue right now. So you’re on your own with that one…”
This was the same U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee who had suggested in a previous email that I should make time for a chat with one of their biologists in order to gain the FWS perspective on the “wild horses,” and acknowledged that there was a major focus on the issue of horse use on Currituck at the time.
So why was she unwilling to discuss the issue, other than to describe the Outer Banks wild horses as “a problem”? Why would a government agency take a confrontational stance against a species that is the area’s #1 tourist attraction? And why would migratory birds be more important than animals that have reportedly been on these islands for some 500 years now?