By KELLY BOSTIAN
For the CCOF
Details on a federal feral swine eradication effort are part of package of information slated for a free public webinar set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.
The Natural Resources Conservation Serves and Oklahoma Tribal Conservation Advisory Council offers the webinar, which features the feral hog information along with other conservation information for landowners and managers.
Trey Lam, executive director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission will present information on the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. NRCS State Conservationist Gary O’Neill and District Resource Conservationist Russell Peterson will present information on several other topics related to NRCS program updates, application processes and services.
The seminar is hosted by the NRCS region offices that cover Kay, Noble, Payne and Pawnee counties but participation is open to all in Oklahoma, and the agency notes that past webinars have attracted participants nationally as well.
Feral hogs are a major problem for the agricultural community, as well as some urban communities, causing about $2 million in damage to U.S. land and crops each year. Feral hogs pose disease risks to livestock, pets and humans.
“Feral hog damage to crops and natural resources has climbed to the top of local priority issues raised by local Conservation Districts. Assessing hog damage and identifying landowners needing feral hog control is a job ideally suited to the locally led Conservation Districts,” Lam said in an NRCS announcement. “OCC looks forward to working closely with districts to deploy many electronic traps for state trappers to use in this battle.”
Working together is a key aspect in every way, Peterson said.
“It is important that we work together with landowners while doing field evaluations so we can discuss the process involved in conservation planning, what potential changes would be recommended and what is needed for program eligibility,“ he said.
“With some of the restrictions we are dealing with from COVID-19 it is more important than ever that USDA and partners identify ways to continue to communicate and provide information to farmers and ranchers,” O’Neill said in the statement.
The webinar is open to the public. To attend participants will need to register in advance via a Zoom link and follow with an email generated after registration to attend. The link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sFbyIrO8S-qdbEIhFf_eIQ.
If other reasonable accommodation is needed to participate, please notify Dr. Carol Crouch, NRCS, Carol.Crouch@ok.usda.gov.
Kelly Bostian is a conservation communications professional working with the Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to education and outreach on conservation issues facing Oklahomans. To support Kelly’s work please consider making a tax deductible donation at https://oklahomaconservation.org