By Janine Moniot
Nature’s caregivers need to respond to government planning for perpetual wild pigs in San Diego County and the damage they inflict by June 27 to Pete Gomben of the Cleveland National Forest.
Your comments can:
Challenge the idea of perpetual pigs and advocate for a consortium of interacting stakeholders to make an all-out effort to eradicate these pigs. It is considered possible to have such a successful outcome, but not by relying on the current lead agencies with their limited power to fund, mobilize or strategize a response, especially on lands outside their jurisdiction. Make it mandatory to involve voluntary national and international pig experts’ advice in this plan.
San Diego County is not an island; it is another piece of the corridor connecting two continents already invaded by wild pigs. These continents are themselves only a small sample of the global problem of wild pigs.
Scientific research demonstrated that these wild pigs will spread far outside of both U.S. Forest Service lands and Bureau of Land Management lands — the two agencies identified as leads/decision-makers in the scoping letter distributed for public comment. Precarious water resources, private lands, a public accustomed to traveling roads without the danger of concealed pigs — all are unrepresented in what is likely to be this decades only perpetual pig plan for San Diego County.
Request that all land owners, resource management agencies, including in Mexico, that are clearly within the existing documentation/maps of projected pig expansion, have real decision-making roles in this ongoing pig process along with real liability for sheltering pigs on their lands.
Demand no safe haven for pig breeding. Direct U.S.F.S. to negotiate an agreement with California Fish and Game to have wild pigs designated as a nuisance species at least throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
Hunting pressure disperses wild pigs. Coordinated aerial and land hunting by government-hired professionals would move more pigs than recreational hunters, and would have more control of what direction those pigs would move.
Raise the question of how to determine toward where/what community hunting should direct pigs and why.
Urge for developing a clear answer to that question based on identifying and prioritizing adjacent threatened resources, the quality of the pig habitat and the ability to restrain future pig expansion, rather than basing the answer on the wealth of the residents, or the political will that prevails.
Request full disclosure of hunting efforts, pig movement, vehicular interactions, diseases they carry and population numbers. Initiate a notification process for communities that pigs are moving towards and help those communities prepare for wild pigs and the havoc pigs wreak.
Develop a way to share pig containment tools/expenses that would mobilize a more effective response.
Ask for public education on how to respond to pigs in our backyards, fields, roads, etc., and for you to be a part of the long-term process.
If interested in being part of a grass-root effort to respond to wild pigs, please contact Janine with Iron Mountain Conservancy at 760-484-0820 or firstname.lastname@example.org with wild pigs in the subject line. For more information on wild pigs in San Diego County, IMCSDC.org. Find 2011 scoping letter on Cleveland National Forest web-site under projects.
Janine Moniot is a Ramona resident.