The DNR and MNRC announce the expansion of Michigan’s core CWD management areas.
The discovery of chronic wasting disease in Michigan last year means hunters will see some expanded CWD management areas in 2016.
The Lansing State Journal reports the DNR and Michigan Natural Resources Commission are planning to have mandatory deer checks in eight new townships as the number of townships included in the core CWD area increases to 17.
Newly added to the core CWD area are Clinton County townships Watertown, Westphalia, Eagle, Olive, Riley and Victor townships and Eaton County townships Delta and Oneida. The DNR is already planning for an influx in numbers of checked deer.
“We’re going to add a few additional check stations to accommodate people in some of these new areas,” DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart said. “In the original core area, it will pretty much be the same as last year, business as usual.”
The DNR and MNRC are also expanding a broader CWD management area. It won’t have the same restrictions as the core area, but hunters in Eaton, Ionia, Clinton, Ingham and Shiawassee Counties should expect baiting bans in these counties as officials attempt to contain the deadly neurological disorder.
They are also planning town hall meetings in June. The first will be at the Foster Community Center in Lansing on June 1 and Armory Community Center in Iowa on June 7. The meetings will start at 6 p.m.
The Michigan DNR has been notably aggressive in their response to the disease since it was first discovered last year. Some 5,200 animals have been tested and so far, only seven have tested positive.
The DNR’s focus was not entirely on the areas CWD has already been found either. After Wisconsin ended mandatory deer checks last season, officials along the Wisconsin border with the Upper Peninsula began an awareness campaign. There were concerns of hunters possibly bringing infected carcasses into Michigan from Wisconsin.
They even set up a sting operation in which at least six people were cited for importing carcasses illegally from CWD-positive states.
In addition to the two town hall meetings, the DNR is also planning some informal gatherings where the public can ask officials any questions they may have. Family Tree Café in Dewitt will play host on June 1. Blondie’s Barn in Haslett will host one on June 2 and Grand Ledge will host a meeting at Sophia’s House of Pancakes on June 3. All of these meetings run from 9 to 11 a.m.
Aside from answering questions, the DNR is hoping to keep people informed about what is going on at these meetings.
“We wanted to hold a couple of wrap-up meetings,” Stewart said. “Basically, we’ve been going through this for about a year now, and we wanted to provide everyone with a one-year summary and what we can expect moving forward.”