CWD

Shown is a lymph node extracted from a hunter-killed elk in Grand Teton National Park in 2018. The nodes are cataloged and sent to the state lab in Laramie for chronic wasting disease testing. A draft CWD management plan is due out Monday.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department on Monday is issuing a draft of the next iteration of its chronic wasting disease management plan.

The closest public meeting to Jackson outlining the plan is also Monday, and it will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at Sublette County Library in Pinedale.

The Equality State’s management plans for CWD — a lethal elk, deer and moose sickness — were last updated in 2016. The leading edge of the prion disease has made significant strides across Wyoming since then, officially reaching Teton County last fall.

The degenerative malady is infecting animals at high rates in places and has been implicated in population declines. Just last week, Game and Fish’s Lander regional office announced that more than 50% of buck mule deer being killed in two of its hunt areas are testing positive.

One Jackson Hole resident who was a part of a statewide working group that shaped the impending management plan is frustrated that local residents haven’t had easy access to the planning process, despite an abundance of interest.

“No meetings have been held here,” said filmmaker and working group member Shane Moore. “The closest meeting for Teton County residents to learn about the plan will occur in Pinedale on Monday evening.”

The next-closest meeting to Jackson will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11 in Casper.

You can review the CWD management plan and submit thoughts online at WGFD.wyo.gov/get-involved/cwd-working-group. Comments are due by Jan. 15, the first day of a two-day meeting in Cheyenne at which the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is likely to review the management plan.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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