March 18, 2024

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Receives CWD Funding Thanks to Sportsmen and Women

Article Contact: Marie Neumiller,

Why It Matters: Recent detections of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Idaho County, Idaho, amplified the need for proactive CWD testing and mitigation efforts in the Pacific Northwest.  As a result, the neighboring state of Oregon is seeking to increase its surveillance and testing efforts. This process can be costly, and funding is needed to support the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s CWD testing, and mitigation program given the close proximity of the positive tests in Idaho. When it appeared that the Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus-sponsored funding bill, HB 4148, was going to stall, sportsmen and women rallied to ensure that funding for CWD testing was prioritized in Oregon and funded in the 2024-2025 budget.


  • Recent detections of CWD in Idaho County highlighted the need for action in Oregon, especially along the Northeastern border.
  • The Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus supported funding for CWD mitigation through House Bill 4148.
  • While HB 4148 stalled, $795,000 in funding for CWD management was included in the 2024-2025 budget through collaborative efforts supported by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

CWD, which is theorized to be caused by prions, or misfolded folded proteins, is a fatal neurogenerative disease impacting animals in the Cervidae family including deer, elk, moose, and caribou. First identified in mule deer at a Colorado research facility in 1967, CWD has spread to over 31 states, including recent detections in Idaho State. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has added special hunting rules in hunting units 14 and 15 to help control the spread of the disease.

Idaho County, home to units 14 and 15, runs along the Northeastern border of Oregon, raising concerns that infected deer could carry the disease across the border, impacting Oregon’s herds. While the states in the Pacific Northwest have not yet reported detections of CWD, nearby states such as Idaho have detected CWD.. Knowing this, states like Oregon and Washington are ramping up their testing efforts and creating response plans that will be activated in the event of a positive test as early detection and mitigation are vital to containment. Funding for these testing and planning programs is key to managing CWD.

Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council member Amy Patrick has been leading the charge for over two years with the help of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), Caucus co-chairs, and the Oregon Sportsmen’s Conservation Partnership (OSCP). The Sportsmen’s Caucus and OSPC rallied around House Bill 4148. Co-sponsored by Caucus Co-Chair Representative Mark Owens, HB 4148 would have provided funding for both CWD mitigation and other key efforts. When the bill appeared to stall, sportsmen and women in Oregon rallied, sending over 34,000 emails to legislators with the help of OSCP members. While HB 4148 failed to pass this session, CWD funding was added at the end of the session through Senate Bill 5701.  The addition of section 445 gives the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife $795,000 for activities to detect chronic wasting disease.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation celebrates this budget addition to support CWD mitigation efforts. CSF will continue to work closely with Caucus Co-chairs, and OSCP to highlight and enact sportsmen’s initiatives across the state.

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