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Know CWD website

Know CWD [exit DNR] General information about CWD in Wisconsin including common misconceptions.

Contact information
For information on the CWD response plan review, contact:
Bob Nack
Big Game section chief
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-264-6137
For information on CWD, contact:
Tami Ryan
Wildlife Health section chief
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-266-3143

Wisconsin's chronic wasting disease response plan

In 2010, the Natural Resources Board approved the department's Chronic Wasting Disease Reponse Plan, which guides the department's approach to addressing CWD in Wisconsin. This 15-year plan is to be used from 2010-2025.

CWD response plan review

The first 5-year review of the CWD response plan is currently underway. The DNR, Wisconsin Conservation Congress and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection formed a stakeholder-based CWD Response Plan Review Committee to review the plan and provide recommendations for the future. All committee meetings are open to public attendance.

Committee meeting dates

All meetings occur at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Rd, Madison

Plan review background

In 2015, the Natural Resources Board directed the department to review the CWD response plan in accordance with the plan's stated action item to conduct reviews after the 2015, 2020 and 2025 hunting seasons. In 2016, the department initiated the first 5-year review of the plan. Additional driving factors behind the review were Gov. Scott Walker's recommendations on addressing CWD, presented at the 2016 Wisconsin Conservation Congress Annual Convention, as well as separate sets of recommendations from the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and Wisconsin Conservation Congress. A departmental review of the plan evaluated progress toward responding to the disease. To increase public involvement, the department along with the Conservation Congress and DATCP established an ad hoc stakeholder advisory committee to further discuss and assess the CWD response plan.

CWD Response Plan Review Committee membership

Membership of the CWD Response Plan Review Committee consists of Wisconsin agencies and non-governmental organizations with a stake in addressing CWD. Members of the public may provide comments during the designated public comment period on each meeting's agenda.

  • Wisconsin DNR - Law Enforcement
  • Wisconsin DNR - Wildlife Management
  • Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
  • Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
  • Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Wisconsin Department of Tourism
  • Wisconsin Conservation Congress
  • Wisconsin Deer and Elk Farmers' Association
  • Whitetails of Wisconsin
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Advisory Council
  • Whitetails Unlimited
  • Quality Deer Management Association
  • Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
  • Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
  • Wisconsin Bowhunters Association
  • Safari Club International
  • Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors, Inc.
  • Archery Trade Association
  • Sporting Heritage Council
Committee meeting materials
Next steps

Following the three fall meetings, the committee's recommendations will go out for online public comment. Public comment results will then be delivered to the County Deer Advisory Councils in January to help inform their discussions on CWD. The CWD response plan review committee will convene once more in early 2017 to review CDAC CWD recommendations and finalize the response plan review. The department will present the final products of the review to the Natural Resources Board for approval in March.

CWD response plan details

After multiple years of CWD management in Wisconsin, it is increasingly clear that 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 recognizing its public trust responsibility for managing wildlife and ensuring the health of wildlife populations in the state. However, waning public support and limited fiscal resources have limited the department's ability to fully implement the plan.

Download the entire 15 year CWD Response Plan [PDF]

Related documents

In the Management of Chronic Wasting Disease October 25, 2006 memo [PDF] to the Natural Resources Board, former DNR Secretary Scott Hassett looks at some of the accomplishments state government has made since the discovery of CWD in Wisconsin, shares the department's goals for managing the disease and emphasizes the importance of consulting with the public in establishing the next phase of CWD management in Wisconsin.

From July of 2007 through January of 2008, a stakeholder advisory group (SAG) with diverse interests in the state's wild deer herd met to offer recommendations on future CWD management direction to the department and the Natural Resources Board. The SAG Final Report [PDF] includes a summary of the SAG's recommendations, results of the group's voting at the January 12th, 2008 meeting and minority reports.

An external expert panel was appointed by the state Natural Resources Board to review Wisconsin's CWD plan [PDF].

Additional resources:

Last revised: Thursday December 01 2016