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Gov. Evers stresses patience, waiting on more research before acting on CWDSubmitted: 03/06/2019
Story By Lane Kimble

Gov. Evers stresses patience, waiting on more research before acting on CWD
RHINELANDER - Environmental issues like clean water got some focus during Governor Tony Evers budget address last week, including $70 million in borrowing to address water pollution, but the proposal doesn't address one of the biggest environmental issues in the Northwoods.

Evers didn't include any new funding for chronic wasting disease prevention.

Three wild deer tested positive for CWD in the Crescent Corner area near the Lincoln-Oneida County line, all since 2017.

Democrats criticized former Governor Scott Walker for not doing enough to stop the spread of CWD.


During a stop in Rhinelander on Tuesday, Evers said he wants the DNR to take its time studying the disease more.

"It wasn't that we were dismissing the issue of CWD, it's obviously a very important one," Evers said. "It's a very important one for our state, tourism, hunting, natural resources, but we believe the first place to start is around that."

Scientists first found CWD in southern Wisconsin in 2002. Recently, the DNR has asked hunters to submit more deer for testing. The agency is also in the middle of a four-year study in southwestern Wisconsin that should offer a lot more information .

"We're going to make sure that we're very thoughtful," DNR Secretary-Designee Preston Cole said. "When we roll something out in the future, we're going to make sure that the science is there, we have our partners there."

Evers says Walker's administration took away too much of the science in the DNR.

"That's a mistake," Evers said. "We have to have an agency that has science as its basis and those scientists actually get to participate in the policy making."

Cole added it wouldn't be "prudent" to do anything big until that study is done in 2020.

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