Lake Morena, California - The County Board of Supervisors took steps Wednesday to control the population of non-native invasive feral pigs on County land.

The feral pigs were released into the San Diego River watershed about six years ago. Since that time, the invasive pigs have spread to Palomar Mountain to the north, Cuyamaca State Park to the east and Potrero to the south.

County officials say the pigs have caused significant damage at Lake Morena County Park and the surrounding areas by rooting for food and by wallowing in wet areas. The animals also compete with native species for food, water and habitat and can transmit diseases to humans and other livestock.

“Feral pigs are a big problem in the region,” said Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. “It’s high time we get this problem under control before they spread to other areas.”

Local, state, and federal agencies and Native American tribes became so concerned about the problem they created a working group to explore ways to control the spread of the invasive pigs.  

As a result, the County Board of Supervisors was asked Wednesday to approve two Memoranda of Understanding agreements to manage the feral pig population. The first would formalize an agreement between the County and federal and state agencies as well as the City of San Diego, Native American tribes and water/irrigation districts to work together on the problem and outlines the responsibilities of each agency. The second involves a cooperative effort at the state and local level to implement a control program.

The plan involves amending an ordinance involving the use of firearms on County land. Currently, firearms are prohibited in County parks. The change would allow authorized officials to use firearms or other weapons to control non-native invasive animals that are causing significant environmental damage.

The Board unanimously approved the two Memoranda of Understanding agreements Wednesday. A second reading on the proposed change to the ordinance is scheduled August 6.