MADISON — The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on proposed revisions to state rules being developed to address chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wisconsin during a series of public hearings being held in March.

Each hearing will be preceded by an open house meeting where Department of Natural Resources biologists will discuss results from the 2003 hunting seasons, population estimates, proposed deer hunting seasons and CWD management in area deer management units (DMUs).

The open houses will run from 4 to 7 p.m. and formal, public hearings on proposed revisions to a permanent CWD rule will start at 7 p.m.

The proposed rule changes would:

  • Eliminate the CWD Intensive Harvest Zone and use roads rather than section line boundaries to define the CWD Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ).
  • Change the population goals for the DEZs from zero to less than five deer per square mile of deer range.

  • Allow hunters to use any tag on antlerless deer and bucks harvested after shooting an antlerless deer in CWD zones.

  • Require hunters to allow a sample to be taken from their deer at CWD zone registration stations.

  • Establish Disease Eradication Zone in southwest Walworth County and create a Herd Reduction Zone that covers all of deer management unit 77 B and a portion of 77C south of Highway 18 in Waukesha County.

The Open House/Public Hearings will be held:

  • March 16
    • Round Barn Lodge and Restaurant, E4830 US Hwy. 14 & 60, Spring Green
    • Basement Meeting Room, Portage City Hall, 115 W. Pleasant St., Portage
    • Town of Turtle Community Center, 6916 South CTH J, Shopiere
  • March 17
    • Lincoln Conference Room, Ramada Inn/White House Supper Club 1450 Veterans Drive, Richland Center
    • Basement Conference Room, Karakahl Country Inn, 1405 Business 18/151 East, Mt. Horeb
    • Room CO55, Richard T. Anderson Education Center, Waukesha County Technical College, 800 Main Street, Pewaukee
  • March 18
    • RFS Center, 18298 Highway D, Fayette Activity Center, Jefferson Co. Fairgrounds, 503 N. Jackson St., Jefferson
    • Auditorium, Richard Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road, Kansasville