By Bee Frederick, Southeastern States Director
On February 28, an informational meeting on chronic-wasting disease (CWD) was held in the Mississippi State House following the recent discovery of CWD within the state. Intended to provide timely information to legislators and staff, the meeting was organized by the Chairman of the Mississippi House Committee on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council member Representative Scott Bounds.
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Southeastern States Director Bee Frederick presented on management issues concerning CWD, how states across the country are approaching the issue, and the national legislation proposed in Congress to address CWD. Frederick was joined by representatives from the Mississippi State University Extension, Mississippi State University Deer Lab, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) to further discuss the biological background and issues concerning CWD. The MDWFP discussed the response plan that has now been implemented by the state.
The MDWFP is now working to determine the prevalence and spatial distribution of CWD, apply management actions to limit the spread of CWD, and determine the origin of the CWD positive cervid. The Department currently has implemented a ban of supplemental feeding for deer in six counties in western Mississippi: Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo. It is also now unlawful to establish new mineral sites, mineral blocks, salt blocks or licks, or add to existing mineral sites.
Learn more from the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?