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Arkansas Ozark Feral Swine Control Pilot Project

Points of Contact

Michael E. Sullivan
State Conservationist 
USDA-NRCS Office
700 W Capitol Ave, Rm 3416 
Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone Number: 501-301-3100 
 
Michael Hoy 
Acting State Director 
USDA-APHIS Office
I020 Lantrip Road 
Sherwood, AR 72120
Telephone Number: 501-835-2318

Project Area

Arkansas has chosen a six-county project area in the northern part of the state and is adopting a two-tiered approach.  If approved, initial funding from the fiscal year 2019 APF will be available for three counties, with six counties in the second-tier project area.  The larger project area allows room for project expansion in subsequent years, as success is achieved in Tier 1 counties.  Historically, feral swine in north Arkansas are classified as emerging but robust populations.

North Central Arkansas counties include Marion, Baxter, and Izard, with second tier counties being Boone, Searcy, and Fulton.  The entirety of this region is within the Ozark Plateau geomorphic province.  Agricultural uses are predominately poultry and livestock production and forestry.  Feral swine are ubiquitous in this region and are generally associated with drainages where dense forests are common.  The Ozark National Forest and Buffalo National River (Park Service ownership) are large landowners in the region, but private ownership accounts for roughly 85% of the area.       

Arkansas Ozark Feral Swine Control Pilot Project Map

Hiring of Trapping Technicians

NRCS funds are available for partners to hire technicians to assist with feral swine trapping efforts under the supervision of APHIS.

  • 2 Partner Trapping Technicians
    • Provide direct technical assistance to landowners/operators under the supervision of APHIS WS
    • Funding for the position for the life of the project
    • Enroll landowners in program
    • Reconnoiter, establish, and maintain bait sites
    • Coordinate, deploy, and monitor traps
    • Coordinate efforts with APHIS and AGFC trappers
    • Participate in landowner outreach activities

Estimated Equipment Needed

NRCS funds may be used for the equipment necessary for the pilot project. Further questions about the equipment needed, the amount, and use of the equipment should be directed to the point of contract for the project. It is expected that the following equipment will be crucial for the implementation of the project within the pilot area:

  • Traps
    • Remote gate traps to be used by partner trapping technicians
    • Could remain in the control of partner for landowner use after the life of the project
  • Trail cameras
    • Cell service capable and SD card types
  • Drones
  • Cell phones and data plans
  • Computers
  • ATVs and trailers
  • Hand tools (i.e., shovel, hammer, etc.)

Monitoring/Evaluation Requirements of Partner

Due to the new nature of the pilot program, it will be crucial to collect, monitor, and evaluate data regarding feral swine populations, agricultural damage, and environmental concerns. For this project, partners are expected to:

  • Develop and conduct a monitoring/evaluation process that will gauge measures of success based on producer reports of feral swine damages at various spatial levels: (1) on the individual farm where the trapping service was provided, (2) producers located near the farm where the trapping service was provided, and (3) statewide

Anticipated Partnerships within the Project

It is important that the partner be able to work with the below entities, as well as state and local governments that work in the pilot areas.

  • The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission will partner with Conservation Districts and University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.  Local Conservation Districts will be responsible for on-the-ground technical services and UACES will develop and implement an evaluation and monitoring program.
  • Although not within the agreement, we expect to have strong partnerships with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the US Forest Service for feral swine control on public lands within the project areas.

Outreach/Education Expectations

Education and outreach will be essential aspects of the project to ensure landowners are educated on the need for removing feral swine, approved techniques, and methods for controlling feral swine populations. Partners are expected to assist with outreach and education activities in the following ways:

  • Conduct educational activities in support of approved trapping techniques and other approved information related to feral swine eradication and control
  • Conduct landowner/operator outreach and champion pilot efforts within project areas and priority zones

Additional Partner Requirements

  • Work with key stakeholders to increase collaboration and targeting of resources within project areas and priority zones
  • Complete activities required to carry out all HR support functions necessary for each technician position (onboarding, payroll, time processing, direct supervision, etc.)
  • In consultation with NRCS and APHIS, develop a payment schedule and associated payment guidelines necessary to carry out a financial assistance program to participating landowners/operators
  • Provide all contract and technical services necessary to provide direct financial assistance to landowners/operators for feral swine carcass disposal, survey participation, and follow-up monitoring
  • Acquire and disseminate bait, traps, vehicles, equipment, and supplies necessary to support effective monitoring and control of feral swine