Friday, September 13, 2013

Currituck refuge wants more fencing for wild horses

COROLLA, N.C. The Currituck National Wildlife Refuge plans to string more than 15,000 feet of barbed wire fence in an effort to keep wild horses from grazing where wildlife feed, raising concerns among the horses' supporters. Federal officials have requested bids to extend fencing in the 4,500-acre refuge from the dunes to the marsh, effectively blocking the horse herd's access to a large section of the refuge. Bids are due this week. More than 100 acres already are enclosed by an electric fence. The barbed wire fence would extend the barrier from ocean to sound. Barbed wire is dangerous to wild horses and deer, said Karen McCalpin, director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. A cut from rusty barbed wire can get infected or cause tetanus, she said. Currituck National Wildlife Refuge Manager Mike Hoff could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The wild horse fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have long been at odds over the size of the horse herd. Jeff Hampton, 252-338-0159,