CWD Surveillance Map
Map of the Upper Peninsula CWD Surveillance Area
History on the Michigan Surveillance and Response Plan for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
The first Michigan Surveillance and Response Plans for CWD were issued On August 26, 2002 and were very general due to the lack of scientific research on CWD at that time. CWD was first observed in 1967 and not diagnosed until 1977 at a Colorado Research facility.
Wisconsin tested 1092 Deer from 1999 – 2001 and found only three positive CWD Deer. From 1999 to 2018 the State of Wisconsin has tested 226,833 Deer with 5,243 Deer being CWD positive. In 2018 alone Wisconsin tested 17,064 deer with 1057 being positive for CWD. Their Southern Farmland Zone accounted for 1036 of the 1057 animals! This area is estimated to have over 100 deer per square mile.
Following CWD in other states and how the states were handling it for years U.P. Whitetails Association Inc. In 2011 at a NRC meeting in Iron Mountain asked the Natural Resource Commission to update the Michigan Surveillance and Response Plan. The presentation included different points that could be addressed with a new plan and The Natural Resource Commission was asked not to follow Wisconsin’s plan of trying to kill them all (deer) with semi –loads of deer going to waste and spend over $37 million dollars doing it! We need a better plan! Commissioners; Frank Wheatlake and John Madigan, along with Russ Mason of the DNR agreed and with other support and research the plan was Revised and published July 18th 2012. The first positive CWD in the Lower Peninsula was found in 2015.
With the Revised plan in place and CWD being found in the Lower Peninsula a UP CWD Task Force was formed to work as Partners to come up with a plan just in case CWD was found in the Upper Peninsula. The first positive CWD deer was found in Dickinson County in October of 2018. Under the old plan all baiting and feeding in the entire Upper Peninsula would have been ban. Working together the MDNR and the UP CWD Task Force used the past knowledge of the Upper Peninsula winter kill and the migration studies over the years as reference and agreed on a ten mile buffer zone from the CWD positive Deer location and the townships touching that circle. The first UP plan draft using the Lower Peninsula CWD Plan that was already in place as a guide asked for touching counties. After some discussion the MDNR agreed with the UP CWD Task Force that our counties are much larger and the winter kill in the Upper Peninsula can account for the loss of thousands of animals. The MDNR would agree to use townships to try and allow feeding in the high snow zones of the Upper Peninsula. The MDNR is also very concerned with the winter kill in the medium to high snow zones.
The Core CWD Surveillance Area - Due to the need for road or river boundaries - starting at the junction of US 2 and 69 near Bark River, using all of Highway 69 to Highway 95 junction, South on HWY 95 to Iron Mountain and using the Menominee River going South as a boundary to Road G18 East to Highway 41 North , up to US 2 East, back to the junction of Highway 69.
Future meeting discussions for the UP CWD Task Force will include; Baiting and feeding, doe permits and antler point restrictions to name a few.
The Natural Resource Commission timeline in May every year – they will be given information regarding proposed changes to deer management units, deer quotas and regulations from the MDNR. In June every year - more updated information on the May information given to the NRC by the MDNR and Public Input. You do not have to wait until June to give your input! July every year - The NRC will take Action on possible changes.
For input by email contact: Cheryl Nelson NRC executive Assistant
For input by mail:
Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 30028
Lansing Michigan 48909
Be sure to include a return address and sign you letter to be recorded.
Map of the recorded deer movements from the Trap,Tag and release Programs in the 1990's.