NASHVILLE — A 30-day public comment period is now open for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s new five-year chronic wasting disease (CWD) strategic plan. The CWD Response and Management plan will serve as a guiding document for TWRA staff and ensure the best science is applied in efforts to control the disease.

    The new plan includes five main overarching goals:

    Prevent the introduction or spread of CWD to new areas.

    Surveillance and monitoring to improve early detection of the disease and better track the number and location of cases.

    Activate management and responses to minimize the impacts of CWD where the disease has been detected and proactively respond to any new cases.

    More research to optimize all of TWRA’s CWD programs.

    Outreach and Communications to ensure the public and our hunters have the information they need about CWD.

    Hunters have an important role in helping manage CWD. The complete plan can be found on the Public Notice section of the TWRA website. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Wildlife Public Comments, TWRA, Wildlife Division, 5107 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, TN 37211 or emailed to [email protected]. The comment period is open through Jan. 29, 2023.

    Since December 2018, the TWRA and its partners have been responding to the discovery of CWD in Tennessee. During the 2021-22 fiscal year, TWRA sampled more than 16,000 deer, with 631 returning positive results. Management of CWD is complex and requires numerous long-term techniques to be applied, monitored, and adjusted over time. Development of the new strategic plan has been an 18-month process for the TWRA with the help of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture with additional input from a wide range of stakeholders.