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Shawnee National Forest to temporarily close Lusk Creek Wilderness for feral hog eradication

HARRISBURG (WSIL) -- The Shawnee National Forest is planning to temporarily close the Lusk Creek Wilderness and a surrounding National Forest Area in Pope County March 30 through April 3.

The Forest Service is working with the USDA to eradicate feral hogs in the area. In a press release, the Shawnee National Forest says it believes the population is "relatively small" due to early detection.

Feral hogs are an invasive species that compete with wildlife for food resources and prey on turkey & quail nests, reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife including threatened & endangered species. They are a serious threat to forest and wildlife habitats and can cause destruction to crops and native forests.

In addition to the destruction to habitat, feral hogs can carry and transmit diseases and parasites to humans, wildlife, and domestic livestock.

A nuisance for decades in the southern U.S., populations have exploded in neighboring states such as Missouri in recent years.

For questions regarding the closure, call the Shawnee National Forest Headquarters office: 618-253-7114

Nick Hausen

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