The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is requesting public comments on a new five-year chronic wasting disease (CWD) strategic plan. The CWD Response and Management plan will serve as a guiding document for TWRA staff and ensure the best science is applied in efforts to control the disease.
The new plan includes five main overarching goals:
- Prevent the introduction or spread of CWD to new areas.
- Surveillance and monitoring to improve early detection of the disease and better track the number and location of cases.
- Activate management and responses to minimize the impacts of CWD where the disease has been detected and proactively respond to any new cases.
- More research to optimize all of TWRA’s CWD programs.
- Outreach and Communications to ensure the public and our hunters have the information they need about CWD.
The National Deer Association (NDA) submitted comments in support of the plan and highlighted specific objectives, strategies and actions that we believe are of particular importance. Undoubtedly, the deer hunting tradition and industry in Tennessee has deep and widespread roots. Nationwide, about 80% of all hunters pursue deer, and research has shown that CWD prevalence can discourage hunter participation, ultimately threatening our deer hunting traditions and the Pittman-Robertson model of conservation funding. Now is the time to use all resources at the disposal of the TWRA to work with hunters, landowners and other stakeholders to curb the spread of CWD in Tennessee and keep prevalence rates low.
Comments may be submitted by mail to: Wildlife Public Comments, TWRA, Wildlife Division, 5107 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, TN 37211 or emailed to Twra.firstname.lastname@example.org. The comment period is open through Jan. 29, 2023.