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Wisconsin's CWD response plan

The Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan, approved by the Natural Resources Board, guides the department's approach to addressing CWD in Wisconsin. This plan is to be used from 2010-2025.

Controlling CWD in Wisconsin's free-ranging white-tailed deer will be extremely challenging, and will require a commitment of human and financial resources over an extended period of time. The department developed the Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan in recognition of its public trust responsibility for managing wildlife and ensuring the health of Wisconsin's wildlife populations. However, waning public support and limited fiscal resources have limited the department's ability to fully implement the plan.

The first 5-year review of the plan was completed in 2017 by the review committee. Recommendations from the committee can be found in the final report [PDF]. As part of the public input process, County Deer Advisory Councils held a round of special meetings to gather public input on the response plan action items.

Implementation and progress summary

The annual summary of implementation efforts on action items [PDF] outlines steps completed prior to and during the 2017 - 2020 deer hunting seasons and action items that are currently in progress for the 2021 season and beyond.

2021 CWD Response Plan Review

Every five years, the department will review progress toward the goals of the 2010-2025 CWD Response Plan. The first review was finalized in March 2017. A second review will occur during year five of the second five-year interval following implementation of recommendations from the 2017 CWD Response Plan Review Committee. This fall, the department will convene a group of stakeholders to provide input on the plan’s implementation and actions to consider as it completes this second five-year review.

Stakeholders from conservation, business and hunting organizations and tribal governments have been invited to join the committee. Meetings will begin this fall to conduct a full and transparent review. A panel of technical experts will attend meetings to support the committee’s work. All meetings will be open to the public, and recordings will be posted to the DNR website. The CWD Response Plan Review Committee charter contains more information on the scope and goals of this project.

During this second review, any committee recommendations to the plan’s goal statement, objectives and actions will be taken under consideration in the department’s final decision-making process. Once the committee completes its review, expected in early 2022, the department will consider its input alongside public comment. The DNR expects to present the review’s findings to the NRB in late spring 2022.

CWD Response Plan Meeting Minutes and Recordings