Portions of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Will Be Temporarily Closed During Aerial Feral Swine Eradication Efforts
February 10, 2017 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will be implementing a temporary closure of portions of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) during feral swine aerial eradication efforts. However, the Colorado River will not be closed during eradication efforts. The temporary closures will be effective intermittently in portions of the Refuge, from February 20 through March 6, 2017.
Topock Marsh will be closed throughout the two-week period (including Catfish Paradise, North and South Dikes, Pintail Slough, Five-mile Landing, and Beal Overlook Platform) for public safety. Areas within Topock Gorge may briefly have traffic routed to the western side of the river while aerial operations are in progress. Mesquite Bay may be closed intermittently while ground operations are underway. Service staff will be present during these short time periods to maintain a safety perimeter.
This project is being undertaken to eradicate feral swine from Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Swine are known to damage natural resources and property, impact agricultural lands, and pose a human health risk due to diseases they may carry. The effort is being conducted by the Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS-WS). The eradication plan and environmental assessment were developed as part of a national priority to eliminate or reduce the risks and damages inflicted by feral swine to agriculture, natural resources, property and human health.
Aerial shooting operations will be conducted by one helicopter using specially trained USDA-APHIS-WS personnel, following policy and procedures established to ensure safe, humane, and environmentally sound practices.
“While the temporary closures to ensure public safety will be unavoidable over these two weeks, the end result of this project will prevent further habitat degradation, property damage, and improve public and staff safety from this highly invasive species”, said Glenn Klingler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lake Havasu NWR Complex Manager. “We really appreciate everyone’s patience as we undertake this important endeavor”.
Visitors may call Havasu NWR at (760) 326-3853 for up-to-date information on closures during this eradication effort.