June 1, 2018

State Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses Weigh in on Federal CWD Legislation

By Joel Hodgdon, Central Midwestern States Coordinator

During May, the Idaho, Iowa, and Kansas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses submitted letters to their respective Congressional delegations urging support for federal legislation designed to assist state fish and wildlife agencies in the fight against chronic wasting disease (CWD).

The Iowa and Kansas Caucus letters were also sent to Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Members Governor Kim Reynolds (IA) and Governor Dr. Jeff Colyer (KS).

The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act (H.R. 4454), introduced by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members Representatives Ron Kind (WI) and James Sensenbrenner (WI), and the Chronic Wasting Disease Support for States Act (S.2252), introduced by CSC Member Senator Jon Tester (MT),  would provide states with additional resources to combat CWD.

CWD is a progressive, degenerative, and fatal disease occurring in farmed and free-ranging cervids. Funding for adequate surveillance and detection of this disease is limited, and often requires already financially burdened state fish and wildlife agencies to divert funds from other programs to stop the spread of CWD. Additionally, the legislation will help address the lack of funding for research needed to slow and eventually stop of the spread of CWD.

The Idaho, Iowa, and Kansas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses join the Delaware and Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses in officially supporting this legislation. Other state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses are expected to support this effort in coming weeks.

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?

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