Sequim lawmaker fights to keep horses in refuge

SEQUIM — A Sequim lawmaker is fighting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its proposed ban on jogging and horseback riding at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

The Peninsula Daily News reported that if the proposal goes through, State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege has threated to look into legislation to revoke a wildlife-protecting easement the state granted to the federal government for part of the refuge.

He said the federal proposal is unreasonable and it will have an impact on the people who live in the area as well as visitors. He notes that jogging and horseback riding have created few problems for the refuge. Any problems could be better addressed through signs and education.

The refuge is visited by 80,000 people a year, including an average of 160 horseback riders and even fewer joggers.

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