|Utah No Chronic Wasting Disease
Recent news reports about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the western United States have left people wondering if Utah's deer and elk might have it.
Officials with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food are happy to report that deer and elk in Utah are free of the disease.
"Based on two years of extensive surveys, we are confident that we do not have it in the wild in Utah," said Alan Clark, Wildlife Section chief for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
CWD is a disease that affects a small percentage of wild deer and elk in southeastern Wyoming and northeastern Colorado. It also has been found in privately-owned elk herds in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Saskatchewan, Canada.
The disease is fatal to deer and elk that contract it. There is no evidence, though, of humans ever contracting or dying from CWD. The World Health Organization (WHO) summarized its findings in December 1999 with the following statement: "There is currently no evidence that Chronic Wasting Disease in Cervidae is transmitted to humans . . . ."
Idahoans concerned about predator-prey relationships in wildlife management will have a chance to hear a world-renowned expert on March 14 in Boise.
The University of Idaho, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Department of Fish and Game are sponsoring a seminar set to begin at 4 p.m. on March 14 at the Nature Center at 600 South Walnut. Dr. Mark Boyce, professor of biology at the University of Alberta and Alberta Conservation Association Chairman of Fisheries and Wildlife, will present "Predator Prey Interactions: Historical Review and Management Implications."
The public is invited and there is no admission fee.
Dr. Boyce has studied and taught in places as far-flung as Oxford University in England, Bangalore in India, and the University of Wyoming before moving to Edmonton, Alberta. He held several positions at the University of Wyoming including chair of Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management Curriculum.
Fish and Game Wildlife Bureau Chief Steve Huffaker said Dr. Boyce will provide interested Idahoans a "superbly informed view of predator-prey relationships without a local bias."
Predator management issues have been a matter of intense public debate in Idaho recently as the Fish and Game Commission has sought ways to deal with opinions about that segment of Idaho's wildlife.
The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) has approved an $11.3 million acquisition of approximately 3,210 acres of land located in the Hollenbeck Canyon area known as the Daley Ranch Property. The acquisition project is to preserve critical habitat and wildlife corridors that would provide a connection between the Department of Fish and Game's (DFG) Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve and Hollenbeck Canyon, and eventually connect other wildlands with the Cleveland National Forest.
Acquisition of this property is important because it will protect threatened and endangered wildlife, native plants, and special habitats found within this western mountain range of San Diego County, including coastal sage scrub and the California gnatcatcher. Although most of the land is undisturbed and in relatively pristine condition, the property also provides restoration and revegetation opportunities in areas historically used as cultivated agricultural and grazing lands.
Idaho's 2001-2002 moose, mountain goat and bighorn sheep proclamation booklet is available now at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.
Hunters will see that mountain goat and bighorn permit numbers have been reduced somewhat from previous years. Moose hunting continues to be expanded as Idaho's herds increase.
Hunting for these species is by controlled hunt only. Applications will be taken during the full month of April for 2001 hunts. Fees remain the same as last year.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is holding public meetings in Roseburg and Coos Bay to discuss the new hunt draw process that could change the number of bull elk tags issued for the Powers and Tioga Units.
The 1999 Oregon Legislature passed an amended law that changes who is eligible to purchase tags leftover after the primary controlled hunt draw. Any hunting license holder may purchase a leftover tag after the regular controlled hunt drawing on a first come, first served basis. "In the Powers and Tioga Units, a person could purchase the tag as a second elk tag," said Umpqua Watershed Manager Steve Denney. The legislation takes effect this year.
If historical tag numbers remain the same, Denney expects that all of the 2,600 tags available in each Tioga bull elk hunt would be sold. "Usually about 300 to 500 tags remain after the two draws, so Tioga elk hunters could see that many more hunters in each elk hunt," Denney said. "There may also be an additional 500 to 600 hunters in the Powers Unit during the first season."
Denney's office mailed letters to more than 4,400 hunters who hunt the Tioga and Powers Units to let them know about the changes and invite their input at the public meetings. A meeting is scheduled for March 13 at 7 p.m. at the Douglas County Church Annex, 1134 SE Douglas Street in Roseburg. Another meeting will be held at the Coos Bay Public Library on March 14 at 7 p.m. Anyone wanting a copy of the information mailed to hunters can contact the Roseburg or Charleston ODFW offices.
Hunters who can't attend the meetings may submit written comments and recommendations by letter or e-mail to the ODFW at one of the following addresses. Comments must be received by March 16. Roseburg residents can address their comments to Mike Black, ODFW, 4192 N. Umpqua Highway, Roseburg OR 97470 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Coastal residents can address John Toman at ODFW, PO Box 5430, Charleston OR 97420 or e-mail email@example.com
Copyright © 2000 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.