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Gopher control program under review in Mountain View County

Program in Mountain View County to control nuisance pest under review

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s agricultural service board (ASB) has reviewed proposed changes to the Northern pocket gopher control incentive program, including a reduction in the minimum number of tails needed to collect bounty money.

The overview came during the board’s recent regularly scheduled meeting, held in person and online.

The program aims to assist and compensate farmers and ranchers in Mountain View County via a $1 per Northern pocket gopher tail bounty to control a declared nuisance under the Agricultural Pests Act. The animals can cause damage to crops and equipment.

The program was launched in 2015 and modified in 2017 to encourage youth participation. It is open to all county residents.

The Northern pocket gopher is a 20 centimetre-long burrowing animal with a large head, small eyes and ears, stout bodies, thick muscular forearms with long curved claws. It is commonly referred to as a mole.

The changes proposed to the program include making it available to multiple youths from the same residence, with each able to submit tails.

There is also a proposal that the minimum number of tails that can be submitted by any individual be 50, down from 100.

There would be a maximum payout of $100 per individual.

During the Oct. 16 board meeting, Chad Verpy, manager of agricultural service, explained the need for the proposed changes.

“We are not seeing the program used as much as we would like,” said Verpy. “We are hoping to see that change.”

Board members carried a motion to forward the recommended changes to the county’s government review committee for consideration.

Details and conditions of the incentive program can be found on the county’s website or at the county office.

During the recent meeting, board members also reviewed proposed changes to the Policy & Procedure 46310 Vegetation Management.

“Vegetation management goals are set to improve public safety, public concern and protect right of way infrastructure, achieved through tasks such as pesticide spraying, mowing and grass seeding,” he said. 

The proposed changes were also sent to the county’s governance review committee for consideration.

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