Project Background

Cumberland Island is a National Seashore off the coast of Georgia and has been steeped in mystery and intrigue for hundreds of years. Once home to the prestigious Carnegie family, it became a National Seashore in 1972. There are still a few residents on the island and very limited privately owned property as most of the island is in the custody and control of the National Park Service (NPS).


Horses have reportedly been on Cumberland Island since the Spanish explorers visited in the 1500’s. Of course, there is a great deal of legend and lore around the early inhabitants and it is reported at different times horses have come and gone and had different roles and responsibilities. However, what is not disputed is that horses have lived free on the island as long as anyone living currently can remember and the ‘wild’ (actually, feral) horses on Cumberland are very much a part of the attraction, culture and mystique of this precious natural resource.

The horses have also been a battle ground in one form or another since the NPS has taken over the management of the island. Park directors have reported advocates ranging from those that would like the horses destroyed and removed from the island completely to individuals who would advocated feeding, veterinary and farrier care as if the horses were domesticated. The battle became so embroiled at one point, that a U.S. Senator from Georgia proposed and had a piece of legislation passed prohibiting the NPS for intervening or interfering with the horses. This legislation required a “hands off” policy by the park service. This has prevented the NPS from doing anything negative with the herd, but is has also prevented them from doing anything positive either.

Recently, in September 2015, the current NPS Director made a public announcement that he intends to “remove the horses from the island”. There is again public outcry against this action and social media comments over whelming in favor of ‘save the horses’ have been flying. Rather than picking up an old fight, LightHorse Healthcare, Inc. advocates for a more reasonable and rational approach to the current “hands off” policy or the proposed “eradication” of the herd. Thus, the Cumberland Island Horse Project is born.

In an effort to increase public awareness of the real issues, real possibilities and real responsibilities concerning the Cumberland Island herd, LightHorse Healthcare, Inc. , a 501 (c)3 non-profit, created the Cumberland Island Horse Project, which includes an informational website and a volunteer and advocacy initiative aimed to promote a responsible horse management plan and cooperative public/private working relationship with the NPS to improve the herd and to addressed the very real issues facing the herd and the island.

You

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Us

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horses

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Please get involved today
912-673-1801
SIGN THE change.org PETITION


SIGN THE PETITION

Our Leaders

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Matt

Ron Smith

Executive Director of Facilities & Development
ronsmith@lighthorse.org

(912) 673-1801


Mark

Christi Gallagher

Director of Development
christigallagher@lighthorse.org
(912) 673-99140


Luke

Lighthorse Healthcare, inc.

115 Osborne Street
St. Marys, GA 31558
cumberlandislandhorses
@lighthorse.org
(912) 882-3800 phone
(912) 673-9919 fax

How Can I Get Involved?

More than 1,000 people have responded to the recent social media posts concerning the announcement of the NPS director’s intent to remove the horses from the island. Join the Cumberland Island Horse Project, sign a petition to preserve the herd through a responsible public/private partnership management program, complete a volunteer application, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and come visit us at the LightHorse Healthcare, Inc. Administrative Offices at 115 Osborne Street, St. Marys, GA 31558