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Arkansas Southwest Feral Swine Control Pilot Project

Points of Contact

Helen Denniston
State Resource Conservationist 
700 W Capitol Ave, Rm 3416 
Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone Number: 501-301-3134
Robert Byrd 
State Director 
I020 Lantrip Road 
Sherwood, AR 72120
Telephone Number: 501-835-2318

Project Area

Arkansas has chosen a six-county project area in the southwestern 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 south Arkansas are classified as long-term existing populations.

Southwest Arkansas counties include Sevier, Howard, and Hempstead, with Pike, Clark, and Nevada being in the second tier.  This area resides entirely within the West Gulf Coastal Plain geomorphic province and agricultural endeavors include poultry production, livestock production (including domestic swine production), pasture and forestry.  Row crop agriculture is not dominant in this region, but there are numerous watermelon producers.  Feral swine issues in southwest Arkansas mirror those in the Coastal Plain in southeast Arkansas.  Small blocks of public land exist in the region, with the majority of lands being privately owned.

Arkansas Southwest 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.

  • 3 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