Feb. 14, 2022
Keith Stephens Chief of Communications
MONTICELLO – Cut-Off Creek WMA and Seven Devils WMA will be closed to daytime public access Feb. 20-26. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services, in cooperation with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, will be conducting aerial operations aimed at reducing feral hog populations in the areas. The flights will be dependent on the weather.
To provide safety for the public and comply with USDA regulations, access will not be allowed during the ongoing operations. Varying weather and site specific conditions will not allow for specific dates of the closures. The closure dates do allow some flexibility to take advantage of resources over large contiguous tracts of habitat.
In the event that access to the areas are restricted, AGFC and partnering agency staff will be on-site to maintain road and access closures, according to AGFC Director Austin Booth. “I understand this can be a temporary inconvenience to those who use the areas, but feral hogs are an invasive species, a public nuisance and a threat to Arkansas. They compete for food resources, destroy habitat by rooting and wallowing and will eat ground-nesting birds, eggs, fawns and young domestic livestock. We must use every tool available to us to keep these animals in check,” Booth explained.
The aerial operations are the result of planning and coordination of multiple partners, condensed into several days of actual operations. The AGFC and USDA APHIS would like to thank the public in advance for their patience and understanding while these activities are underway and apologize for any inconvenience related to the operation.
For additional information, please contact AGFC Feral Hog Coordinator, Ryan Farney at 501-223-6471 or Arkansas APHIS Director Robert Byrd at 501-835-2318.