wasting disease spreads toward the northwestern
corner of Wyoming, audiences of
wildlife watchers, biologists, hunters, outfitters
and conservationists are listening and
Wyoming Game and Fish is sponsoring
the first round of public workshops about
the complexities of managing CWD, which
is fatal mainly to mule deer and can infect
other cervid species suck as elk and moose.
On Tuesday, June 4, Game and Fish wildlife
biologists and managers gave updates on
what is known thus far about CWD, which
in mule deer is caused by a damaged “abnormally
unfolded” protein, or prion, that
eventually affects the entire nervous system
and brain. These prions are nearly indestructible
and are shed by infected animals’ urine,
feces, saliva and blood into the ground where
they can be taken by in plant roots, leaves
The Wyoming Game and Fish CWD
Working Group and CWD Management
Team are looking for potential long-term
solutions, cures and experiments to minimize
its spread. Other states have done the
same but without much hard data to show
and share, according to Mary Wood.
One aspect is that as of now, it is not believed
humans are in danger from CWD-infected
animals – but there are warnings to
handle a carcass safely with gloves.
Facilitated by Jessica Western of the
Ruckelshaus Institute, after known information
was shared, people split into groups to
brainstorm with the goal of being “issued
based, not position based,” she said.
“This is a very complex disease which is
why we (have) a collaborative process,” she
said. “Game and Fish is not going to tell you
this is going to be resolved very quickly. It
will take awhile at least to get it controlled.
Elimination of this disease is unlikely if not
More public workshops are set for Lander
and Casper; Western said she already has
more than 300 comments in 23 categories
from Laramie, Casper and Worland workshops.
After an internal review where that group
seriously considers management solutions,
Game and Fish will release its draft CWD
management plan for another round of public
workshops. The one in Pinedale is set for
To watch the complete CWD public workshop
in Laramie, for more information or to
submit comments, go to https://wgfd.wyo.