MTPR

Emily Almberg

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Neil Anderson demonstrates how to locate the lymph nodes of a white-tailed deer for CWD testing on Wednesday, September 25, in Libby.
Nick Mott / MTPR

State policy makers in Libby Wednesday got an intimate look at how Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is managing chronic wasting disease in the local white-tailed deer population. The visit comes after the tenth deer tested positive for the disease in the area since this spring.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

It’s been two years since Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was detected in Montana’s deer herds, and in May the disease popped up in the northwest corner of the state in Libby. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has a plan to manage the fatal disease based on its prevalence, a strategy born from more than 20 years of trial and error across the country.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

People around the world, especially those who eat venison, are worried Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) might one day spread from animals to humans. But researchers at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton say evidence suggests that’s not going to happen.

Mule deer.
(PD)

After discovering what’s believed to be the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a wild game animal in Montana Wednesday, state wildlife officials are implementing their response plan.

"We are in the process right now of drawing what we would call an 'initial response area'," says John Vore, the Game Management Bureau Chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. "That’s roughly a 10-mile radius around where this animal came from."

Mule deer.
(PD)

Big game hunting season is now underway, and this year Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is doing more than ever before to look for Chronic Wasting Disease. The agency has a million dollars to spend on disease surveillance and testing over the next five years.

Emily Almberg is a disease ecologist with FWP. She says it’s inevitable that the disease will be discovered in Montana any day now.