August 1, 2019
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies was pleased to see biologists from several Midwestern states, members of Wisconsin Tribal Nations, plus state and federal conservation groups meet last month to discuss chronic wasting disease (CWD) management and research efforts across the region. The goal of this meeting was to determine best practices for working together across state borders to prevent the spread of CWD.
“The Association is eager to see the results from this Midwest CWD Collaboration Meeting and hope it will help the states combat this devastating wildlife health issue,” said Ed Carter, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer family and is one of the biggest challenges facing our nation’s wildlife today.”
Chronic Wasting Disease is a 100% fatal disease of deer, elk, moose, reindeer, and other species of the family Cervidae which continues to spread across North America, with reported cases now in 26 states and 3 Canadian provinces. In addition to the obvious detriment to the health of the deer herds, the economic loss to state and local communities due to decreased hunter participation can be substantial. Further, the increased administrative cost to wildlife agencies in combatting the disease reduces funding normally allocated to other wildlife species.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.