Van Buren, MO –   Ozark National Scenic Riverways is proposing a temporary closure on the taking, pursuing or releasing of all feral swine within the park. The temporary closure would support interagency efforts to eliminate feral swine in Missouri.

The temporary closure would align Ozark National Scenic Riverways with its partners and neighbors in the statewide efforts to eliminate feral swine from Missouri. It is a crucial step in meeting the goals of the Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership. This is a cooperative effort by a number of agencies and organizations within Missouri, including the U.S. Forest Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, the USDA Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service, and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

The proposed closure would include an allowance for opportunistic take of feral swine by persons possessing a valid State deer or turkey hunting permit who are hunting deer or turkey in compliance with the permit.

Feral swine are extremely destructive. They pose a growing threat to private landowners and to valuable cultural and natural resources on public land. Sensitive ecosystems and irreplaceable cultural and archaeological sites are extremely vulnerable to their impact. Feral swine are also known to carry diseases which could be devastating to the agricultural industry if introduced to the domestic swine population.

“This closure to hunting of feral hogs within Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a positive step toward eliminating them from the park and from the state,” said Acting Superintendent Russ Runge. “Protecting the park’s valuable natural and cultural resources from destruction is a top priority.”

The proposal for temporary closure is available for public review and comment on the Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at parkplanning.nps.gov/ozar. The proposal will be open for comment from January 22 to February 11.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.