The state Division of Wildlife no longer will be allowed to dump deer and elk with chronic wasting disease in the Larimer County landfill.
The decision was made by county commissioners who “felt not enough is known about the disease to allow wildlife officials to continue disposing of CWD-positive carcasses in the landfill,” said County information manager Deni La Rue.
“Commissioner Kathay Rennels in particular said she didn’t want to say no to the division, but they simply couldn’t put positive heads and carcasses in an unlined landfill until more is known about the disease.”
The denial comes on the heels of the county’s planning commission turning down the division permit to build an incinerator to burn CWD- positive animals on state land near Wellington.
Todd Malmsbury, wildlife division spokesman, said there are two incinerators at Craig, another at Rocky Ford, and one that may be built near Grand Junction.
“They will take care of most of the animals on the Western Slope, so we won’t have nearly as many animals sent to Fort Collins for testing this hunting season,” Malmsbury said.
No decision has been made on what to do without the landfill or the incinerator in Larimer County.
La Rue said the Larimer County ruling doesn’t affect individual hunters from using the landfill or the wildlife division from disposing of CWD-negative heads and parts.
Malmsbury said the division has been using the landfill since the mid-1990s to dispose of animals.
“Larimer County is in the center of the CWD-established area in northeastern Colorado and we don’t know yet what we’ll do about disposal.”