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Hunters, landowners, and conservationists interested in managing chronic wasting disease in Iowa’s deer herd are encouraged to attend an education course at the Greene County Extension Office in Jefferson on June 9, 16, and 23.
The program, called Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors, is hosted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, who will train participants in the science-based management of chronic wasting disease. The course will cover best practices for preventing spread of the disease, how to collect tissue samples for testing, and how to educate others within their community, all in an effort to better educate Iowans on how to manage a healthy deer herd and slow the spread of the disease.
“Partnerships are key to the effective management of chronic wasting disease,” said Tyler Harms, biometrician and deer program leader for the Iowa DNR. “We need hunters, landowners, and interested conservationists working together to slow the spread of this disease, and this program will train Iowans with the knowledge and tools to do so within their communities.
The course includes three in-person meetings from 6-8 p.m. and two online lessons completed between the in-person sessions. In-person sessions will include instruction and hands-on exercises related to the ecology of chronic wasting disease, sampling for the disease, and effective communication strategies. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with area wildlife biologists. Graduates of the course will be given resources to help spread the word regarding effective chronic wasting disease management in their communities.
Registration is available at https://iastate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_82ZzT2MS5T0FSxU or by contacting course facilitator Adam Janke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-294-7429 and is open until the week before the course starts, or until the class is filled (25 participants). There is no cost to participate. A light meal and refreshments will be served at each of the three sessions.
Chronic wasting disease is always fatal to deer and has been found in wild deer in 12 Iowa counties. To learn more about the disease and its management in Iowa, including ways to help slow the spread of the disease, go to www.iowadnr.gov/cwd.