Washington, DC: Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Ron Kind (D-WI) will co-chair a new Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Task Force on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation announced today. Representatives Lee Terry (R-NE) and Mark Udall (D-CO) will serve as vice chairs and additional members of the Caucus from CWD affected states are being invited to join the Task Force.

The goals of the CWD Task Force are to increase awareness, discussion and debate of CWD between members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and the entire Congress as well as to work collaboratively to develop and implement actions to improve the management of CWD. Using the CWD Task Force as a framework, the Caucus will address the growing problem of CWD in cervids (deer and elk) by devising and managing legislative initiatives that help combat the spread of CWD, assist with the monitoring and eradication efforts, provide for research and development of databases, and provide funding for the state agencies to perform these functions.

“I’m pleased to co-chair this task force in order to foster a strong awareness of CWD issues in the 108th Congress,” Ryan said. “Chronic Wasting Disease threatens the vitality of hunting and recreation in at least twelve states across the country, including my home state – Wisconsin. We have to stop it from spreading to new areas and eliminate CWD where it has already infected herds. This task force will encourage collaboration between federal and state agencies and help states get the resources they need to combat this disease.”

“As an avid hunter, and father of two little boys whom I hope to pass on the wonders of outdoor recreation, I am concerned not only about the potentially devastating impact CWD may have on wild deer and elk herds but also on a cherished tradition in our country,” commented Kind. “I have long believed that a vigorous, coordinated effort by federal, state, and local agencies is necessary to develop solutions to this crisis. I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus’ Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force, and ensure Congress and the federal government become a meaningful partner as we seek to contain and eradicate this disease.”

About CSF: Established in 1989, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation works on behalf of current and future generations of Americans to protect the right and increase the opportunity to hunt, fish and trap by serving as the sportsmen’s link to Congress. CSF provides this link by acting as the conduit between sportsmen, wildlife conservation organizations and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), a bi-partisan caucus that supports wildlife conservation, professional wildlife management, hunting and fishing. For additional information, visit the CSF website at www.sportsmenslink.org.