West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Response Team Receives Prestigious Award for Their Efforts to Manage the Disease
West Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ (WVDNR’s) Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Response Team has received a prestigious Certificate of Recognition Award from the Northeast Section of The Wildlife Society. The award was presented during the 65th Annual Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference, which was held April 26-28, 2009, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The CWD Response Team comprises the following WVDNR employees: District Wildlife Biologist Richard E. Rogers, Deer Project Leader and Wildlife Disease Specialist Dr. James M. Crum, Assistant District Wildlife Biologist Allan J. Niederberger and Wildlife Manager Travis A. Metcalf. In accepting the award, Rogers noted the outstanding assistance that other wildlife managers and wildlife biologists from across the state have made in WVDNR’s efforts to manage CWD. He was especially appreciative of the contributions made by Wildlife Resources Section and Law Enforcement Section personnel stationed in District 2 in the Eastern Panhandle.
The discovery of CWD in Hampshire County represents a significant threat to the state’s white-tailed deer. While the disease does not cause an immediate widespread die-off of deer, if allowed to spread the CWD could cause long-term damage to the herd. Those who have tried to predict the outcome of the disease on a deer population have described the disease as a 30 to 50 year epizootic. Due to the uncertain ramifications that CWD may have on the state’s white-tailed deer resource, WVDNR implemented appropriate actions as described in its CWD – Incident Response Plan.
Rich Rogers, Jim Crum, Al Niederberger and Travis Metcalf have been the primary wildlife professionals responsible for implementing this plan. While there are many scientific uncertainties regarding the basic biology and ecology of CWD that may hinder development of efficient strategies for combating this disease in free-ranging deer, the actions outlined in this plan are designed to accomplish the following goals:
Determine the prevalence and the distribution of CWD through enhanced surveillance efforts.
Communicate and coordinate with the public and other appropriate agencies on issues relating to CWD and the steps being taken to respond to this disease.
Initiate appropriate management actions necessary to control the spread of this disease, prevent further introductions of the disease, and possibly eliminate the disease from the state.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
“Without question, the outstanding, professional efforts of the CWD Response Team have contributed significantly to the success of our agency’s surveillance and management programs,” noted Paul Johansen, Assistant Chief in Charge of Game Management for WVDNR. “Their dedication, commitment and just plain hard work have allowed our agency to effectively address this serious wildlife disease threat.”
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1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Charleston, WV 25305-0060