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2012-02-16 digital edition

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2012-02-16 / Front Page

Commissioners are Anything but High on the Hog

Lee County Commissioners listened with great interest to representatives from four different Lee County organizations during their regular meeting on Monday, concerning the damage to the area’s economy due to the rising population of feral hogs. Representatives from Lee County Soil and Water Conservation, the Lee County Wildlife Association, the Lee County Extension Service, and Texas Parks and Wildlife, all spoke to the Commissioners about this growing problem.

As reported to the Court, the estimated hog population in Lee County is about 17,000. Given the estimate that each hog causes at least $200 worth of damage each year, feral hogs cost the County at least $3.4 million each year.

According to the people who addressed the court, the problem has gotten worse, given the recent droughts. The representatives noted that the hogs are not native to the area, but have become very invasive due to the fact that they have no natural enemy. They compete with indigenous animals for their food supply, which includes acorns and other native seeds.

Texasboars.com reports that the life expectancy of a feral hog is six to 8 years. The website also reports that the female reaches breeding age at seven or eight months of age, and that each female can give birth to up to 1,000 piglets in a five-year period.

Those who spoke to the commissioners said that the hogs are a serious danger to drivers, reminding them that a hog caused the death of one Lee County citizen in recent months, when the hog was struck by a Lexington resident riding his motorcycle to work one morning.

The Court discussed this topic at some length, and requested that Lee County Biologist, Greg Pleasant, with Texas Parks and Wildlife, speak to the court during their next session, bringing suggestions for ways the County might help interested organizations relieve the situation with maximum resident involvement at minimum cost to the County.

In other actions, the Court selected Jatzlau Construction to install a new roof on the Museum for a cost of $ 6,319. Jatzlau submitted the best bid for the contract.

The Court also selected Brady’s Pest Control as the provider of pest control for the County’s properties for the coming year.

The Court was told that the revised Lee County map for voting precincts for both the County Commissioners’ and the Justice of the Peace precincts had been approved by the Department of Justice and that these will be available for review in the very near future.

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