Assateague Island National Seashore (NPS) Horses

Assateague Island National Seashore (NPS) Horses

May 4, 2022
Petition to
Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland and 1 other
Signatures: 125Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Dara Crystal

On September 21, 1965, Assateague Island became a National Seashore. Since then it has become a popular attraction, and visitors come from all over to observe the beauty of the wild horses.

Sadly over the years, the traffic has increased and many visitors have been ignoring the park rules. The rules are in place for the safety of both the horses and the visitors. Unfortunately, ignoring these rules have costed horses their lives, and are now resulting in their relocation. Several horses have been hit by speeding cars, while many guests ignore food storage policies, and also approach them.


“According to the National Park Service, 35 horses on Assateague Island have been hit and killed by vehicles on park roads since 1982, while another 18 have been hit but survived.”

The Washington Post (7/27/21)


When food is left out, horses learn to approach picnic tables and blankets on beaches. Once they learn of an alternative food source, they begin to navigate towards those resources. These resources are of course around people. The problem is these are wild horses, and we must keep our distance. As we sensitize them to our presence and food source, they may begin to guard these areas. When they begin to resource guard, they may become aggressive and could be a threat to the safety of people. This behavior has caused the relocation of these magnificent creatures, and separation of their family units. These circumstances were not created by the horses, and they should not be punished for it.



  • Only allow bicycles, buses and park vehicles inside of the park (during daylight) to decrease/eliminate horses being hit.
  • Close the campground (eliminate the food source & night time car accidents).
  • Allow only certain food designated areas inside of the park.
  • Increased park patrol to stop harassment to horses.

The above recommendations would still create revenue and for people to safely enjoy their beauty. 



Support now
Signatures: 125Next Goal: 200
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Deb HaalandSecretary of Interior
  • Jeanine Haddaway-RiccioSecretary of Natural Resources