Finalized EIS for National Feral Swine Management

By Colleen Hartel

Pigs
Image Credit: Clint Turnage, USDA-APHIS

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the availability of its Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Feral Swine Damage Management Program.

Working with its Wildlife Damage Management Working Group, TWS developed comments on the draft environmental impact statement, which were submitted earlier this year. In general, the comments were supportive of the development of the environmental impact statement given the need to manage feral swine populations that threaten native plant and wildlife communities within the nation. However, the comments primarily focused on the selection of the preferred alternative of national feral swine management. TWS’s comments were supportive utilizing a management strategy not selected as “preferred” by APHIS.

Due to the complex nature of feral swine management, TWS suggested that establishing baseline capacity in all states to combat feral swine management may dilute nationally available resources to manage feral swine populations. Instead, TWS suggested that resources be more strategically allocated to states with newly emerging feral swine populations in order to better curb the spread of the destructive species.

In finalizing the impact statement, however, APHIS did not change its preferred alternative of feral swine management, instead choosing the method which establishes a national baseline capacity in each state.

APHIS’ responses to comments, including those made by TWS, are included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement document.

Colleen Hartel is a policy intern at The Wildlife Society as part of the Government Affairs & Partnership program.

Read more of Colleen's articles.