A plan to combat chronic wasting disease (CWD) among whitetail deer in Shenandoah National Park was announced by the National Park Service (NPS). The announcement came Wednesday, Feb. 27 and can be viewed here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-27/html/2013-04549.htm.
NPS has drafted a proposed CWD Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. It is taking public comments on it through April.
The disease is spreading among deer in the region. So far, no known cases have occurred in the park but NPS wants to take affirmative action to prevent it and to control the disease should it enter the park.
Deer have become a popular attraction among park visitors and a mainstay of the park environment.
No known treatment for CWD exists.
Park staff have prepared a detection and assessment plan. But NPS wants to consider alternatives for a long-range plan to combat the disease.
It hopes to adopt a policy to monitor any cases, educate the public about the problem, work with other government agencies, minimize disruption to park visitors and evaluate the actions it takes.
One possibility consists of taking action as soon as it detects the disease anywhere near the park. Another is to get to work as soon as possible. Or, NPS could continue with current policy and not do much.