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Robert W.
Republican VA 1

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  • Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act

    by Representative Robert J. Wittman

    Posted on 2013-06-03

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    WITTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 126) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to enter into an agreement to provide for management of the free-roaming wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.

    The Clerk read the title of the bill.

    The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 126 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act''.


    (a) Agreement Required.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary of the Interior shall enter into an agreement with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (a nonprofit corporation established under the laws of the State of North Carolina), the County of Currituck, North Carolina, and the State of North Carolina within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act to provide for management of free-roaming wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.

    (2) Terms.--The agreement shall-- (A) allow a herd of not less than 110 and not more than 130 free-roaming wild horses in and around such refuge, with a target population of between 120 and 130 free-roaming wild horses; (B) provide for cost-effective management of the horses while ensuring that natural resources within the refuge are not adversely impacted; (C) provide for introduction of a small number of free- roaming wild horses from the herd at Cape Lookout National Seashore as is necessary to maintain the genetic viability of the herd in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge; and (D) specify that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund shall pay the costs associated with-- (i) coordinating a periodic census and inspecting the health of the horses; (ii) maintaining records of the horses living in the wild and in confinement; (iii) coordinating the removal and placement of horses and monitoring of any horses removed from the Currituck County Outer Banks; and (iv) administering a viable population control plan for the horses including auctions, adoptions, contraceptive fertility methods, and other viable options.

    (b) Requirements for Introduction of Horses From Cape Lookout National Seashore.--During the effective period of the memorandum of understanding between the National Park Service and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc. (a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of and doing business in the State of North Carolina) signed in 2007, no horse may be removed from Cape Lookout National Seashore for introduction at Currituck National Wildlife Refuge except-- (1) with the approval of the Foundation; and (2) consistent with the terms of such memorandum (or any successor agreement) and the Management Plan for the [[Page H2994]] Shackleford Banks Horse Herd signed in January 2006 (or any successor management plan).

    (c) No Liability Created.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating liability for the United States for any damages caused by the free-roaming wild horses to any person or property located inside or outside the boundaries of the refuge.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wittman) and the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Napolitano) each will control 20 minutes.

    The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.

    General Leave Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Virginia? There was no objection.

    Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    In 2007, the State of North Carolina, the County of Currituck, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed a comprehensive wild horse management plan for the colonial Spanish mustangs that live on 7,500 acres of private and public lands in North Carolina. This plan expired last year, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicated that it will not sign a new agreement.

    H.R. 126, authored by Congressman Walter B. Jones, requires the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a new agreement within 180 days of enactment. It will also cap the number of horses to no more than 130, allow the introduction of a small number of Shackleford Banks horses to improve genetic diversity, and will ensure that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which is a volunteer organization, will continue to pay for the cost of caring for and managing these horses in the future. These horses are living symbols of our colonial history. H.R. 126, which is a similar bill to one that passed the House by a voice vote last year, will ensure their survival at no cost to the taxpayers.

    I urge adoption of the measure and compliment the author for his tireless leadership and his passion for this issue and reserve the balance of my time.

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