Wisconsin DNR hinders public involvement in recent Midwest CWD conference
Madison — The DNR stubbed its toe involving the sharing of information with the public on a Midwest collaboration regarding chronic wasting disease (CWD).
The DNR told the Natural Resources Board in May that it would be hosting the Midwest CWD conference, but gave no date or location at the time. Word leaked out in mid-July that it would be held the following week in Madison. When there was still no formal announcement two days before the conference began, news media members inquired and were originally told that the media would not be able to cover the conference.
The DNR soon apologized that it had given out incorrect information, reversed its position, and announced just one day before the conference that the media would be allowed in.
However, the media was prevented from publishing anything in advance as the announcement had an “embargo” and could not be used until the day the conference began.
The DNR also indicated that the conference was the first of its kind in Wisconsin, when in fact Wisconsin hosted the second International CWD Symposium July 12-14, 2005, also at the Monona Terrace in Madison.
Despite those distractions, the conference did bring together representatives of at least 11 Midwestern states and tribal nations and non-governmental organizations to meet face-to-face and talk about CWD.
There appeared to be a general consensus that research has shown that preventing the disease in the first place, followed by reducing disease prevalence where it exists, should be the major efforts.
What is needed is money from Congress and support by hunters and landowners to actually do something.