Wild Pig Eradication Plan In Cleveland National Forest


Uncle Sam is gearing up for a pig slaughter!

The US Government is about to throw away our tax dollars on a wild pig eradication effort in the Cleveland National Forest! On June 18th 2012, there was a letter addressed to “Interested Parties” from the US Forest Service on their summary plan to “Eradicate” wild pigs in the Cleveland National Forest, surrounding BLM property, The El Capitan Indian reservation, and surrounding San Diego communities. As an US Citizen, you have the right to respond and comment on this ignorant plan which is called the Feral Pig Damage Control Project EA_FinalForComment. This is a lengthy but pretty detailed comparison plan to the Santa Cruz Island eradication project in which the Government plans to get rid of the wild pigs. To make an educated decision, I highly suggest you spend 45 minutes or so reading this plan which will affect  all hunters, and the endangered wild pig population in your own backyard in Southern California. After you have read the above links, please email your thoughts to FeralPigComments@fs.fed.us by July 19 2012, (30 Days from notice)

The Cleveland National Forest is using the Study of The Eradication of Santa Cruz Island as a comparison for success in this project. You can view the project also from a different perspective from the hired professional hunting service from New Zealand, called “ProHunt”.You can read ProHunt’s Santa Cruz project completion report , which is a detailed plan, and accurate report of how the eradication process was handled from beginning to end.

Below is the copy of the letter I sent on this subject after staying up all night researching this plan, and weighing the pros and cons, and trying to remain as bi-partisan as possible:



Dear Environmental Coordinator, Cleveland National Forest,

This letter/comment is in response to the Feral Pig Damage Control Project proposed in your letter to “Interested Parties” regarding feral pig eradication efforts in the Cleveland National Forest.

After reading this lengthy plan, I, as well as many others feel that this would be a futile act, and a waste of taxpayers dollars to put in action. Here are a few of my concerns:

  1. You have no proposed ballpark costs posted to eradicate the wild pig population which has not been effectively managed in years past. This would not be a 6 figure plan, but more than likely, a high 7-8 figure plan over the next 5 years which still will not promise any results. The public has a right to know how much this is going to cost us in the next 5 years. No decision should be made until these projections are proposed and publicly reported. At that time you should open up to comments after cost projections.
  2. The Forest Service cannot possibly have enough manpower to pull this off regardless of the help from professional hunters and helicopters you want to hire. Where are you going to enlist the help to pull off this pig eradication? First off, wild pigs are nocturnal, so a helicopter does no good unless these pigs are not bedded down, and will not be visible to the pro-hunter in the sky through all of the vegetation and trees. You compare the successful efforts of the helicopter to Santa Cruz Island. There is very little cover there, and Santa Cruz Island is 7 times smaller than The Cleveland National Forest. I agree, that the chaparral in the forest is going to be easier to hunt, but for the most part, there is no way this will be an effective use of taxpayers dollars.
  3. To compare The Cleveland National Forest eradication project with an Island that is 7 times smaller is not really a true comparison, as the wild pigs have nowhere to go. The Cleveland National Forest would have to compete with private property, an active Native American reservation, and public access closures to not just hunters, but the general public. Santa Cruz is also a National Park, in which no hunting pressure was there in the first place, making the pigs easy targets, unlearned, and not adaptive to hunting methods. Santa Cruz has a hairline fraction of the visitors Cleveland National Forest has.
  4. If you look at the study, you will find that the Santa Cruz Island was also fenced into 5 segments with huge costs in fencing to control pig movement. The range of wild pigs, can be as far as 50 square miles or more. This project still took 2 years to complete with this fenced in method. There is no way possible to fence up and segment the CNF without a Presidential approval, and an act of congress. That funding alone would be well off into the $100 millions.
These are a few of the obstacles I see as a guaranteed project failure. While I agree there needs to be better control methods than the 8 wild pigs that were legally harvested last year, I believe we all need to go back to the drawing board on what we can do to have a cohesive agreement with this California State game animal. Lets educate the public and hunting community better by supporting public hunting with information, access points, hunter camps developed to process the game meat, and maybe even transportation concerns figured out for public hunters. The wild pig information currently posted is pretty vague, and needs accurate research and tracking. Lets work with the Department of Fish and Game and have sponsored hunts for pig hunters to keep the numbers in check. Make the public partners in this problem, not outsiders to our own land.
Please understand that just because there is a 30 day comment period for your decision, my colleagues and fellow hunters will do our best to make sure that this plan does not happen, and we will voice our opinions to the community, and take other further legal actions as necessary.
Greg C
As I do my own rough math to ballpark the costs, I estimate:
$6 million for the SCI eradication x 7 times the size area = $42 million for 2 years in wages to Pro Hunters… but,
Tack on actual time of 5 years which is a more feasible and you get $ 21 million a year X 5 years = $105 million.
Now add in the fact that Cleveland National Forest is not an island, and already has hunting pressure, and I will assume another $50 million for incidentals + $105 million =  $155 million.
How much are we going to have to pay off the El Capitan indian reservation to ease their land? I can’t even imagine!
Legal costs for the law suit that is bound to happen?
(I mean seriously, where is the government accountant that is tallying this all up? At what point is enough money spent where you feel that there is a stopping point?)
If the US Government were successful with this operation with freelance hunters, I will estimate that we will be paying out $250-300 million with a bare minimum of 5-10 years of public closures … but hey, that’s just my guess.
To all my readers, I ask that you drop a few lines to the US Forest Service by July 18, 2012. Again, that email address is FeralPigComments@fs.fed.us 
Please leave comments on your opinion on this matter.
Follow The Water,
Greg “The Boar Hunter”
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