Meeting set July 19 to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ first public meeting in Libby about chronic wasting disease is scheduled for Friday, July 19.

The meeting will be held at noon in the Ponderosa Room at Libby City Hall.

Staff will provide regular updates on the Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan involving Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the city of Libby, and answer any questions from the public.

From late May through July 3, the state agency has submitted 29 samples of white-tailed and mule deer for testing of the disease. Two were confirmed positive and three are suspected to be positive. The positive detections have involved only white-tailed deer.

FWP is working closely with the city of Libby and Lincoln County to develop a response plan. In accordance with Montana’s CWD Management Plan, Fish, Wildlife and Parks has assembled an Incident Command Team involving FWP staff from Libby, Kalispell, Bozeman and Helena to respond to the situation.

FWP, the Libby Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office are responding to reports of deer that appear sick and are removing the animals for sampling.

For people in the Libby area who see a deer that appears to be sick, call 406-291-6539 or Lincoln County Dispatch and leave a message with your name, number, the location of the animal and the time you saw it.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal disease affecting the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. If left unmanaged so that a large percentage of a deer or elk herd becomes infected, the disease could cause significant population declines in the decades to come.

There will be two more meetings, Aug. 2 and 16. They also begin at noon and will be held at Libby City Hall, located at 952 Spruce Street. Additional informational meetings will be forthcoming later this summer in Libby, as well as Kalispell, Thompson Falls and Eureka. For up-to-date information, visit the Fish, Wildlife and Parks website.

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