NDA Announces Virtual Meetings to Discuss CWD Management in Pennsylvania

NDA has announced a series of virtual public meetings supported by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state. NDA President and CEO Nick Pinizzotto will be joined by representatives from the PGC and other experts in the field to discuss the latest plans on how and why to combat CWD in Pennsylvania and across the country. 

CWD is currently the most significant threat to the future of healthy deer populations, deer hunting and the hunting industry. It is quickly becoming the biggest challenge to broad wildlife conservation that sportsmen and wildlife managers have encountered over the last century. First detected in Pennsylvania in 2012, CWD has continued to spread across the Commonwealth, including several positive deer being found in new areas this year. Data suggests that if no changes in CWD management are made, parts of Pennsylvania could eventually reach a 30% prevalence rate. 

“These meetings will deliver the latest information on CWD to one of the largest, most passionate deer hunting bases in the United States,” said Pinizzotto. “We’ve assembled a great lineup of experts for Pennsylvania residents to learn from, talk to and be available for all questions and comments. By holding the events virtually, we can ensure everyone has the opportunity to safely attend and focus on the important topics at hand.” 

Event Information

Speakers include: 

  • Nick Pinizzotto – President and CEO, NDA
  • PGC Representative – Regional Representative
  • Bryan Richards – Emerging Disease Coordinator, National Wildlife Health Center
  • Kip Adams – Chief Conservation Officer, NDA
  • Andrea Korman – Chronic Wasting Disease Coordinator, PGC

Six total meetings will be held over the course of three consecutive weeks, one for each PGC region. Each webinar will last roughly two hours, with 80 minutes of presentations and 40 minutes of Q&A. Attendees MUST preregister using the following links:

Southwest Region – May 5, 2021

Northcentral Region – May 6, 2021

Northeast Region – May 11, 2021

Northwest Region – May 13, 2021

Southeast Region – May 17, 2021

Southcentral Region – May 18, 2021 

For information on the boundaries of each region, and for additional information regarding the PGC, please visit: pgc.pa.gov.

Agenda

7:00 Nick Pinizzotto (NDA) welcomes the crowd and gives an overview of the evening.

7:05 Game Commission Regional Staff provides a quick (~5-minute) status update on CWD in the region, and a summary of region-specific details from the 2020-2021 hunting season.

7:10 Bryan Richards (USGS) provides a national overview of CWD. Bryan will provide big picture view and highlight this issue is much bigger than just Pennsylvania. His talk will describe the disease, high-light what we know (and don’t know), and show its spread since it was first identified in the late 1960s.

7:40 Kip Adams (NDA) takes the science side of Bryan’s presentation and discusses the practical implications of CWD to hunters. He will discuss how CWD impacts their hunting today and in the future and will use info from each Game Commission region to tailor specific points to best suit that audience. Kip will end with a few slides showing how important deer hunting is in Pennsylvania and how well Pennsylvania fares to our neighboring states and those across the nation in deer hunting statistics.

8:10 Andrea Korman (PGC) follows with what the Game Commission is doing to ensure a sustain-able and healthy deer herd, forest landscapes, and acceptable levels of deer-human conflicts while combatting CWD. She will discuss our CWD plan and highlight the CWD dashboard.

8:25 Nick Pinizzotto takes control and moderates a 30-minute Q&A. The attendees will be able to ask questions to Nick, Bryan, Kip, Andrea, a Wildlife Futures representative, and/or the Game Commission’s regional biologist/designee. 

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