Wildlife specialist speaks at meeting

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Wildlife caused $28,000 in agricultural losses last year in Roosevelt County, according to a Department of Agriculture report.
Pat Jaureguiberry, a wildlife specialist with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, spoke Tuesday to Roosevelt County commissioners about the various wildlife control efforts he is pursuing in the county.

Jaureguiberry said the animal he gets the most calls on is prairie dogs, followed closely by coyotes.

He said besides being a pest on rangeland, prairie dogs also carry diseases such as plague. He said recently prairie dog populations near the Melrose Bombing range had crashed due to plague.

Commissioner Dennis Lopez questioned Jaureguiberry about the status of feral hogs in the county. Jaureguiberry said they continue to be a major problem because they are destructive to crops and rangeland. The non-native species also breeds twice a year.

“We may end up like Texas (with a feral hog problem) if we’re not careful,” Jaureguiberry said. “That’s why I’ve recommended shooting hogs on sight.”

Jaureguiberry said he will likely send some skunk samples to be tested and launch a more aggressive program of controlling them if any rabies problems are found.

In other business commissioners:

• Approved a revised summary review plat for the Kiehne/Rigsby subdivision.

• Approved the Roosevelt County Health Council member roster.

• Approved the GRIP 2 cooperative project agreement. The $220,000 project will repave Roosevelt Road 7.

• Adopted an Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan.

• Approved bids to purchase a pneumatic compactor and a lowboy trailer for the road department from Wagner Equipment.

• Approved a bid of $180,000 to Wagner Equipment for the sale of a used Caterpillar soil compactor.

• Learned from the county administrator that Department of Finance and Administration had approved the county’s final budget.