MISSOULA, Mont. (August 20, 2018) – The Boone and Crockett Club Board of Directors recently approved a second year of research funding targeted at finding answers to combat Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
The Club and other organizations have been concerned about CWD for quite some time. Together with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Mule Deer Foundation, the Club founded the CWD Alliance more than 15 years ago.
“When our current Club president took office in January of 2017, he made CWD one of the primary focuses of his administration,” explained Dr. Josh Millspaugh, Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana and subcommittee chair of the grants program. “With the help of our professionals on the ground, we expanded the Club’s role in addressing CWD by providing support, leadership, organization, and bringing experts together to set a path, which will have a meaningful impact on policy, research and education, and help coordinate stakeholders’ activities.”
“Denying we have a problem and just kicking at the dirt isn’t going to cut it,” added Ben B. Hollingsworth Jr., president of the Boone and Crockett Club. “I’ve committed my time as Club president to getting answers we can use. More research will pay huge dividends in our ability to manage this disease.”
The Club’s focus on CWD was reinforced by a recent unanimous decision by its Board to provide additional funding for research. This focus includes working with U.S. Congress on the Research Title of the pending Farm Bill to make CWD a high-priority research focus for our nation’s land-grant universities.
“With more questions and unknowns than answers and solutions, the smart play is getting behind more research,” said Millspaugh. “That’s exactly what our Conservation Grants and University Programs are now focused on.”
Millspaugh added, “We funded three major projects last year and our own research programs at the university level are underway. Our grants program has targeted answers to questions about CWD spread, improving testing methods, and understanding more about the different strains of CWD. All of these projects are important to management of the disease. Going forward, research funds will be dispersed through the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) in an effort to match those funds. Our friends at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with our grants program last year contributing dollars for research. We hope to leverage similar funding opportunities working with our partners through WMI.”
For more information on CWD visit the CWD Alliance website here.
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club is the oldest conservation organization in North America and helped to establish the principles of wildlife and habitat conservation, hunter ethics, as well as many of the institutions, expert agencies, science and funding mechanisms for conservation. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.