Dave McEwan

Feral swine threatening to cross the northern border from Saskatchewan and Alberta could cause millions of dollars of crop damage and decimate ecosystems in Montana. State and U.S. agencies say they’re ready if that happens, but farmers and ranchers want more.

Producers want the government to pressure Canadian officials to step up their management of the wild pigs before they move south.

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt canceled a planned visit to Montana this week. Bernhardt had planned to meet with Montana ranchers and farmers about grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain Front as part of his visit.

A coyote hunts for small mammals in the tall grass, October 2008.
Vince O'Sullivan/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

About a dozen states – including Montana and Wyoming – are allowed to use a controversial device called the M-44. Advocates say it’s an important tool to protect sheep from coyotes. Critics call it a ‘cyanide bomb’ and say it’s too risky for humans and pets. Now, several environmental groups are pushing to ban them at the state and federal level.