On December 9 and 10, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), working in conjunction with the Mississippi State University’s Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflict and Wildlife Mississippi, hosted an informative policy forum focused on wild pigs in the southeast region.
The Forum provided an opportunity for more than 40 attendees to collaborate and discuss information, policies, and practices regarding the growing wild pig problem in the region. Legislators from three southeastern states joined state agency personnel, leaders in the sportsmen’s community, agriculture interests, and private landowners to examine the issue. Those in attendance provided key insight into the issue, public perception, potential legislative fixes, and examples of measures that participating states have taken to manage the problem.
Additionally, the Forum provided information on: the history, biology, and ecology of wild pigs; impacts to agriculture and natural resources; public perceptions of wild pigs; effective wild pig control methods; transportation and hunting restrictions; funding mechanisms and future research; and current wild pig legislation.
Wild pigs, a non-native species to the region, have an untold negative economic impact on the larger agriculture community, and also cause a great deal of concern regarding competition with deer, turkeys and other popular game animals; habitat destruction; and the threat of spreading animal diseases. As the issues grow throughout the region, state based legislation alone is inconsistent and ultimately ineffective. CSF, along with event participants, believe that a strong multi-collaborative legislative/regulatory strategy involving the states, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and local stakeholders can be organized to more effectively manage wild pigs.
In addition to the Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts, Wildlife Mississippi, the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation provided support for the event.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?