Agency looking for advisory group members

MADISON – The state Natural Resources Board, the Department of Natural Resources’ policy-making body, recently approved an extensive public involvement effort during 2007 to engage citizens in establishing the next phase of chronic wasting disease (CWD) management in Wisconsin.

DNR hopes to engage multiple and diverse interests potentially impacted by DNR’s disease and deer herd management decisions in the dialogue, according to CWD project leader Alan Crossley.

DNR’s goal is to work with the public to come up with a plan and strategies to manage CWD to protect the state’s free-ranging deer population while considering the needs of the economy, hunters, landowners and others. Changes in management resulting from the public dialogue are expected to be in place for the 2008 deer hunting seasons.

“We all want a healthy deer herd. We believe that working together we can map the best way to get there,” said Crossley.

One important step in the dialogue process is establishing a 30-40 member stakeholder advisory group which reflects the broad spectrum of diverse interests in CWD. Members of this group will be selected by a search committee and appointed by DNR secretary Scott Hassett.

Persons interested in being considered for selection to this advisory group can self-nominate themselves by using a form located on the “CWD in Wisconsin” pages of DNR Web site. Hard copy applications are available by contacting CWD communication specialist Nick Van Court at (608) 266-0920. Self-nominations are due June 8, 2007.

“Participating on this stakeholder advisory group will be a big commitment requiring attending meetings one Saturday per month from July through January,” noted Crossley.

He emphasized that “the involvement of citizens interested in making (that commitment) will help shape our future approach to managing CWD in Wisconsin.”