Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan to Create Scientific Panel to Battle CWD

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a threat to the whitetail deer herd in many states. Michigan's taking action.

In Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says it and the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) are going to "engage the scientific community to identify practices that will address the threat of CWD."

"The Natural Resources Commission and the Michigan DNR have a long history of working cooperatively to ensure the health and longevity of the state's wildlife and fisheries resources," says NRC Chair John Matonich. "Chronic wasting disease is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Michigan's white-tailed deer herd, and we are committed to fighting it head on, with the best available science."

As of April 21, the DNR says nine deer in Michigan have tested positive for the disease. That number doesn't include two positive results found at a private facility.

The NRC approved the measure to have scientists and experts come up with potential ideas to deal with CWD at its April meeting in Lansing, according to the DNR.

The NRC chair, along with directors of the DNR and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, will select scientists for the panel. The panel's chair will be selected by the NRC chair and DNR director.

The DNR says the panel will have a Dec. 31, 2017, deadline for delivering its suggestions. After that, the public will have a chance to review and offer its ideas.

"Michigan's white-tailed deer are a critical part of the state's hunting culture and tradition, as well as the state and local economies supported by those who annually take part in the tradition," says DNR Director Keith Creagh. "Since the first CWD finding in Michigan, the DNR has taken aggressive steps to contain and address this threat to our deer population. We look forward to working with this group to continue that effort."