County Commission Approves Resolutions On Port Board Appointment, Feral Pigs

The Ste. Genevieve County Commission during last Thursday’s meeting passed resolutions supporting Nick Wehner as its choice for the New Bourbon Regional Port Authority board and opposing the banning of feral hog hunting in Mark Twain National Forest.

The commissioners also agreed to write a letter of support for a senior citizens home rehabilitation grant.

The feral hog issue has become a concern for the commission.

Mark Twain National Forest has proposed a ban on hunting as well as capturing or releasing feral swine within the forest boundaries, upon the request of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The wild hogs cause an estimated $2.4 billion in damages each year, including $800 million in damages for private landowners. The hogs destroy crops and hay fields, kill wildlife and hurt water quality, as well as pose a menace to people.

The Department of Conservation has said it is in favor of limiting the hog population, but believes shooting hogs causes the herd, or sounder, to disperse. This makes catching the remainder more difficult, it claims.

“They have a safe haven in the national forest,” Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said, adding that a landowner who chases a feral hog from his property into the national forest and kills it risks a $5,000 fine and six months in jail.

The commission adopted a resolution officially opposing the proposed ban. Later in the meeting, when Matt Bain, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley’s district director, called, the commissioners urged him to pass their concerns along to Hawley. …

The commissioners’ resolution to support Wehner, a county resident, for the port authority board, came after Nelson had a phone conversation with him. Either Wehner or Perry County Assessor Charlie Triller likely will be appointed by the six current members of the board — three from Ste. Genevievee County and three from Perry County.

The port board has asked the two men to attend upcoming board meetings.

See complete story in the July 3 edition of the Herald.

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