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DNR to present CWD recommendations to NRC

After months of talking with interested citizens and hunting and wildlife stakeholders and reviewing the best available science regarding chronic wasting disease, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is set to present CWD recommendations to the Natural Resources Commission at its next monthly meeting Thursday, June 14, in Lansing. Recommendations will be presented during Committee of the Whole.

The department’s recommendations are the result of a six-month-long public engagement effort, during which DNR staff and NRC members met with people around the state, hosted 11 public meetings, and offered online survey and comment opportunities. The recommendations are being presented for information to the commission, as part of the public input process.

The NRC will review, discuss and possibly modify recommendations before making a final decision at a future commission meeting. Comments may be submitted to the commission via email at NRC@michigan.gov.

“The DNR and the Natural Resources Commission appreciate the high level of engagement from our customers, partners and stakeholders, and the willingness to

co-create strategies to address CWD,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “We look forward to continued engagement and cooperation as we move into hunting season this fall.”

CWD is a fatal neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in cervids – deer, elk and moose. The disease attacks the brains of infected animals and produces small lesions that result in death. There is no cure; once an animal is infected, it will die. Initially, CWD was first discovered in Michigan in a free-ranging deer in May 2015. Since that time, CWD has been confirmed in deer in five Michigan counties: Clinton, Ingham, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm.

The Natural Resources Commission meeting will take place June 14 at the Lansing Community College Downtown Campus, Health and Human Services Department, 515 North Washington Square, Conference Room HHS 005-0078.

The full meeting’s draft agenda includes the following.

8 a.m. – Committee on Finance and Administration

2018 spend plans for DNR Fisheries and Wildlife divisions.
An update on 2017/2018 CWD spending.
The DNR’s 2019 budget, if completed by the meeting.
9 a.m. – Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee

A presentation of Belle Isle’s strategic management plan and 2017 annual report.

General updates on the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, the department’s camping cancellation policy and the Oakland County ORV planning process.
12:30 p.m. – Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries

A review of fall fishing regulations.
Deer harvest survey report for the 2017 seasons.
An update on antlerless license quotes and CWD regulations.
2 p.m. – Committee of the Whole

DNR director’s report, including updates on CWD, the 2019 budget and the Blue Ribbon Advisory Group on State Game Areas.
A legislative report.
NRC committee reports.

Immediately following the Committee of the Whole, the commission will receive public comments. To register for public comment, contact Cheryl Nelson, executive assistant to the commission, at 517-284-6237 or nelsonc@michigan.gov. Those registering by 5 p.m. Friday, June 8, will be allowed up to five minutes to address the commission. Those registering after June 8 or at the meeting will be allowed up to three minutes. Registration cards will be available at the meeting.

Following public comments, the commission is scheduled to vote on statewide trout, salmon, whitefish, lake herring and smelt regulations, as well as Wildlife Conservation Order amendments governing furbearer regulations, squirrel and falconry season dates, and open/closed deer management units. Director Creagh then is expected to approve the results of the May 2018 oil and gas lease auction, as well as several land transactions.

For more information about the Natural Resources Commission, including full agendas and meeting minutes, visit michigan.gov/nrc.

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