News February 8, 2019

Barrasso Works Bipartisan CWD Bill

by Jackson Hole Radio News

Wyoming’s Republican U.S. Senator John Barrasso as joined by Democratic Senators Doug Jones of Alabama and Michael Bennet of Colorado in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to increase the ability of wildlife managers to combat Chronic Wasting Disease. The bill authorizes a special resource study to determine how Chronic Wasting Disease spreads and could be prevented in deer and elk. CWD has shown up in both wild and domestic herds of deer and elk in 26 states and several Canadian provinces. Senator Bennettold the Senate that the bill would provide state wildlife professionals with the information they need to standardize their work, improve CWD management, and prevent further spread across the country. However, Senator Barrasso points out that state recommendations for preventing the spread of the disease vary, and need to be coordinated. To that end, he says the bill requires the United States Department of Agriculture and Interior secretaries to enter into an arrangement with the National Academies of Sciences to review current data and best management practices from federal and state agencies. Barrasso asked support for the bill, saying that the disease could be, in his words “truly catastrophic for wildlife and for local economies.”