Monday, May 01, 2017

NC General Statutes - Chapter 68 Article 4

At one time Ocracokers used the undeveloped area of the island as an open range for livestock. As late as the 1950s horses, sheep, cattle, and other livestock roamed freely on the island. That changed in 1958 by an act of the North Carolina Legislature. Only the ponies on Ocracoke Island and Shakleford Banks were excepted.

North Carolina General Assembly, General Statutes, Chapter 68, Article 4: 

Stock along the Outer Banks.

§ 68-42.  Stock running at large prohibited; certain ponies excepted.
From and after July 1, 1958, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to allow his or its horses, cattle, goats, sheep, or hogs to run free or at large along the outer banks of this State. This Article shall not apply to horses known as marsh ponies or banks ponies on Ocracoke Island, Hyde County.....Saving and excepting those animals known as "banker ponies" on the island of Ocracoke owned by the Boy Scouts and not exceeding 35 in number. (1957, c. 1057, s. 1; 1997-456, s. 9.)

§ 68-43.  Authority of Secretary of Environmental Quality to remove or confine ponies on Ocracoke Island....
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Article, the Secretary of Environmental Quality shall have authority to remove or cause to be removed from Ocracoke Island ...all ponies known as banks ponies or marsh ponies if and when he determines that such action is essential to prevent damage to the island. In the event such a determination is made, the Secretary, in lieu of removing all ponies, may require that they be restricted to a certain area or corralled so as to prevent damage to the island. In the event such action is taken, the Secretary is authorized to take such steps and act through his duly designated employees or such other persons as, in his opinion, he deems necessary and he may accept any assistance provided by or through the National Park Service.  (1957, c. 1057, s. 11/2; 1973, c. 1262, s. 86; 1977, c. 771, s. 4; 1989, c. 727, s. 218(10); 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 1997-456, s. 10; 2015-241, s. 14.30(v).)

§ 68-44.  Penalty for violation of G.S. 68-42.
Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of G.S. 68-42 shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1957, c. 1057, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 541; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 68-45.  Impounding stock.
The provisions of G.S. 68-24 to 68-30, relative to the impounding of stock running at large shall apply with equal force and effect along the outer banks of this State. (1957, c. 1057, s. 3.)

§ 68-46.  "Outer banks of this State" defined.
For the purposes of this Article, the terms "outer banks of this State" shall be construed to mean all of that part of North Carolina which is separated from the mainland by a body of water, such as an inlet or sound, and which is in part bounded by the Atlantic Ocean. (1957, c. 1057, s. 4.)

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the entertaining story of Calvin Wilkerson and his Condomed Nautilus. You can read it here:


  1. Marie from PA2:49 PM

    Was there any particular reason for the passage of this legislation? I noticed in a past posting that the Park Service acquired part of Ocracoke in the mid 1950's. Are these incidents related? How did the locals feel about the legislation? As always thanks for all your interesting information.

    1. Marie, livestock was removed from the Outer Banks for several reasons: grazing contributed to the elimination of vegetation, which led to erosion; and after construction of a paved highway the length of Ocracoke free-ranging animals became a danger to motorists. The Park Service required the remaining horses be penned for the same reasons. By the time this legislation was enacted few islanders still relied on island cattle and sheep for food. Lobbying by locals, especially Capt. Marvin Howard, scoutmaster of the mounted boy scout troop,was instrumental in exempting the horses.

  2. Marie from PA2:55 PM

    Glad to here this bit of legislation didn't appear to have a negative effect on the islanders. It was great the legislature approved the exemption of the horses. From your stories those young men had a good time in that boy scout troop with Capt. Howard. Thanks again!