The National Deer Association has joined a coalition of timber companies and conservation organizations formed to fight chronic wasting disease (CWD) among deer in the Southeast. The new coalition will promote practices that help discover, manage, and mitigate the negative impacts of CWD. NDA joins the Alabama Wildlife Federation, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Boone and Crockett Club, Forest Investment Associates, Molpus Woodlands Group, Potlatch Deltic, Rayonier, Resource Management Services, The Westervelt Company and Weyerhaeuser.
“Approximately 88% of the national deer harvest occurs on private lands, so it is increasingly important for private landowners and private land managers to engage in the fight against CWD,” said NDA Chief Conservation Officer Kip Adams. “This coalition was established to meet that need, and I’m proud that NDA is a founding member”.
The new coalition acknowledges it will take the cooperation of state wildlife agencies, hunters and private landowners working together to slow the spread of the disease. The group has developed a list of voluntary “best management practices” to help monitor, manage and prevent the spread of CWD. The coalition will also support communication, research, policy and public health. These categories follow the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies CWD recommendations but are tailored to private landowners and managers in the Southeastern U.S. with large numbers of recreational users.
Chronic wasting disease is transmitted animal-to-animal and from contact with infectious material. The disease is contagious and can be transmitted freely within and among cervid populations. No treatments or vaccines are currently available, and CWD is 100% fatal to cervids. To date, no known transfer of CWD to humans has occurred. Continued expansion of the disease negatively impacts the economic, en-vironmental, and cultural values associated with deer, and private landowner involve-ment will be critical for success. For more information on the CWD Coalition contact Kevin McKinstry, 800-281- 7991 or email@example.com.