Panel wants stepped-up fight against deadly deer illness

 

Jan 22, 2018

An advisory panel is calling for stepped-up efforts to prevent the spread of a deadly disease among Michigan deer.

The Chronic Wasting Disease Working Group recently presented a set of recommendations to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, a policymaking group whose members are appointed by the governor.

The commission assembled experts from around the U.S. to review the latest science and management developments on the disease.

Among the proposals were engaging an outside marketing agency to develop messaging; partnering with other states to share research; and taking a closer look at privately owned deer ranches.

Fifty-seven deer in six Lower Peninsula counties have tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The illness attacks the brain of infected animals. It’s transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact, or by contact with their bodily fluids.

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Moretti Elected NDA Board Chair

January 9, 2018 | by National Deer Alliance

To further serve as the guardian for wild deer conservation, the National Deer Alliance recently elected Miles Moretti, CEO of Mule Deer Foundation, as Chairman of the Board during its annual meeting held on December 19, 2017. Former Chairman of the Board, Jay McAninch, will remain on the board of directors and serve on the executive committee.

Also elected to the board for two-year terms are: Chris Dolnack of National Shooting Sports Foundation; Dan Forster with the Archery Trade Association; Brian Murphy and David Guinn of Quality Deer Management Association; Jeff Schinkten with Whitetails Unlimited, and Ron Regan of Association for Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Dolnack, Murphy, Forster, and Steve Williams with the Wildlife Management Institute will serve on NDA’s executive committee.

“It is a great honor to serve as Chairman of the NDA Board of Directors,” said Mile Moretti. “I look forward to working on critical issues such as CWD, hunter access and continuing to grow NDA as an organization. NDA is fast becoming the go-to organization to help states’ wildlife agencies tackle the complex deer issues in their states and supporting federal legislation to fund CWD monitoring and research.”

“This is a big year for NDA as we will continue to focus much of our time on CWD and hunter access, which are the biggest issues facing deer and hunting today,” said Nick Pinizzotto, NDA President and CEO. “Our team is committed to impacting policy that impacts our sport, and seeing to it that biological science perseveres over political science.”

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MAFWA Directors’ Meeting

Save the date! The 85th Annual Midwest Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Directors’ Meeting will be held Sunday, June 24 – Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. The MAFWA Directors’ Meeting is for senior level management of natural resources professionals in the fields of wildlife and fisheries management, information and education, licensing and administration, law enforcement, and conservation engineering. Learn more.

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West Nile Virus found in Michigan ruffed grouse

Dec. 4, 2017
Contact: Tom Cooley, 517-336-5034 or John Pepin, 906-226-1352

No evidence of human infection from eating properly cooked game
For the first time, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in the state’s ruffed grouse population.
Five birds collected from August through October, including two found dead and three that were shot by hunters, were submitted for testing to the DNR’s Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing, where the confirmation of West Nile Virus was made. Continue reading

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Rise of populism affects wildlife management in US

November 3, 2017

Source:

Colorado State University

Summary:

A cultural backlash stemming from the rise of populism may limit opportunities for state fish and wildlife agencies to adapt to changing social values in the United States.

 

Researchers at Colorado State University and The Ohio State University have found that a cultural backlash stemming from the rise of populism may limit opportunities for state fish and wildlife agencies to adapt to changing social values in the United States. The team reached this conclusion by analyzing more than 12,000 surveys from 19 states and studying ballot initiatives related to hunting.

Based on the new study, researchers found that in states with the largest change in social values, individuals who held traditional values had lower levels of trust in the state wildlife agency. In contrast to traditional values, in which people believe wildlife exists for their benefit, the researchers describe an emerging set of values, in which wildlife and humans are seen as part of a connected social community, as mutualism.

In the case of human-wildlife conflict, traditionalists would be more likely to support lethal wildlife control methods while mutualists would be more supportive of restrictions on humans.

“With a growing proportion of mutualists in a state, traditionalists begin to lose trust in the state’s fish and wildlife agency,” said Michael Manfredo, lead author on the paper and head of CSU’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. “Based on our research, wildlife agencies, which focus on statewide mandates, increasingly engage with people who are mutualists, looking for common ground, and the traditionalists would feel this challenges their influence in policymaking.”

The team found a growth in ballot initiatives to protect hunting rights from 2000 to 2016, in contrast with the number of ballot initiatives from the previous decade that sought to restrict certain hunting and trapping practices. Researchers said this indicates a culutural backlash that they predict will intensify conflicts over wildlife management and may constrain institutional change. Wildlife management agencies may need to explore new models of governance that encompass diverse values, the study authors said. Continue reading

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