Pulling on the Same End of the Rope: Developing a Regional CWD Adaptive Management Framework

One solution to overcoming the challenges of CWD management in Michigan, is the development and implementation of a regional adaptive management approach. A regional CWD adaptive management framework requires a two-phase learning approach.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Michigan’s white-tailed deer creates severe biological, political
and economic impacts that negatively affect the state’s citizens. Wildlife management agencies are
charged with developing and implementing control measures to slow the growth and spread of the
disease; however, this is a monumental task given the lack of proven effective management
strategies and the controversial nature of many control efforts. Additionally, examining the
effectiveness of disease management actions in Michigan is challenging due to the limited number of
management actions that can be evaluated within a state; difficulty in sustaining management
policies for a sufficient length of time to achieve desired results because of shifting stakeholder
views; and the lack of mechanisms to rigorously evaluate control efforts during implementation.

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