ROLLA, Mo. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service says it will close Mark Twain National Forest to feral swine hunting, with a new exception.
The Forest Service will allow exceptions for licensed deer or turkey hunters who have valid state deer or turkey hunting permits to also kill feral swine. Hunters must be hunting deer or turkey in compliance with their permit.
The decision comes after a 60 day public comment period.
“We appreciate the public’s involvement and interest in their public lands. The comments we received helped us determine the need to modify the closure order,” said Mark Twain Deputy Forest Supervisor Tony Crump. “As a land management agency, we take input seriously so we can most effectively manage public lands for the good of the resources, our partners, and the American people.”
According to the forest service, the forest order will align Mark Twain National Forest with state efforts to eliminate feral swine from Missouri.
According to the forest service, feral swine are responsible for more than $1.5 billion in damage and control costs, including $800 million due to direct damage to agriculture across the U.S. Feral swine also destroy natural resources such as springs and compete with native wildlife.