Chronic wasting disease (CWD) may not be the illness of the moment, but the neurological ailment continues to threaten deer, elk, and moose in Montana.
The Environmental Quality Council (EQC) of the Legislature continues its work examining policies related to CWD at its meeting May 27-28. Members of the bipartisan council are meeting via Zoom teleconference starting at 10 a.m. on May 27.
Experts from the University of Alberta and Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton will talk about the latest research on the transmissibility of CWD. State veterinarian, Dr. Martin Zaluski, will discuss the response to past and present instances of CWD at Montana game farms. The Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks will lay out its plans for managing CWD based on last year's monitoring and experience. And, Dr. Greg Juda will update the EQC on work to bring CWD testing online at the Department of Livestock's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Bozeman.
The Council will also get the finalized data from last year's watercraft inspections and an update on a review of the existing statutory authority and responsibilities for AIS. The Montana Invasive Species Council and the Upper Columbia Conservation Commission are working to identify ways to improve the agency response to AIS.
Other topics on the agenda include resources in wilderness study areas, timber projects with state and federal partners, an update from the Libby asbestos superfund oversight committee, and possible legislation regarding wildlife location data and trapper education.
Representatives on the council are Jim Keane, chair, D-Butte; Willis Curdy, D-Missoula; Steve Gunderson, R-Libby; Bradley Maxon Hamlett, D-Cascade; Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton; and Kerry White, R-Bozeman. Senators are Mike Lang, vice chair, R-Malta; Pat Flowers, D-Bozeman; Steve Hinebauch, R-Wibaux; JP Pomnichowski, D-Bozeman; Carey Smith, R-Bozeman; and Gene Vuckovich, D-Anaconda. Public members are Scott Aspenlieder, Billings; John Brenden, Scobey; Rex Rogers, Boulder; and Matt Vincent, Butte.
The meeting is live streamed at http://leg.mt.gov and broadcast on the Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN). Check local channel listings to find MPAN.
For more information on the council's activities and how to participate in the meeting, visit the council's website or contact Joe Kolman, council staff.
Council website: http://leg.mt.gov/eqc
Council staff: firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-9280