Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan Open For Public Comment

Dec 3, 2019

Credit Wyoming Game and Fish Department

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released a draft of its Chronic Wasting Disease management plan.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal brain disease affecting deer, elk and moose that’s found all over the U.S.

In Wyoming, CWD is prevalent in mule and white-tailed deer and has been identified in 25 percent of the state's elk herd. Last year, CWD was identified in a mule deer in Teton County where the National Elk Refuge is located. After public outcry that the dense concentration of elk can increase the spread of disease and other reasons, Game and Fish created a CWD working group to get a better understanding of CWD.

Sara Direnzo, the public affairs specialist with Game and Fish, said the draft management plan was informed by the working group. Direnzo said there is a policy recommendation to regulate intentional feeding, "to develop recommendations to the Wyoming state legislators to provide the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission the authority to regulate intentional feeding of wildlife service unless otherwise specified by law." 

She said the plan also focuses on increasing the number of samples collected.

"Any decisions or management strategies really do require long term planning, implementation and evaluation because Chronic Wasting Disease is such a complex disease," she said.

There will be public meetings throughout the state. The draft plan is open for public comment through January 15.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.