WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

October 04, 2004
Contact: Jack Smith, (360) 249-1222

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Training set for volunteer deer and elk checkers

OLYMPIA - Prospective volunteers in the effort to monitor for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk are invited to attend a free training session Oct. 13 in Littlerock.

The training session, jointly sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Eyes in the Woods program, is scheduled from 7-9 p.m. at Capitol City Rifle & Pistol, 14318 Littlerock Rd. S.W.

Volunteers who receive the training will be deployed during upcoming modern-firearms hunting seasons to help collect tissue samples from deer and elk in areas ranging from the Olympic Peninsula to the Columbia River.

"Volunteers play an extremely important role in our state's efforts to monitor for chronic wasting disease," said Jack Smith, WDFW regional wildlife manager. "Without their help, we could not have collected nearly as many tissue samples as we have over the past three years."

CWD, a fatal disease of the central nervous system in deer and elk, has been found in 12 state and two Canadian provinces, Smith said. CWD has not been detected in Washington, although some areas of the state have been sampled more heavily than others, he said.

"We plan to address that this year with collection efforts at check stations in such areas as the Hoh River Valley and the Longview area," he said.

For more information about the training session, contact Ray Crisp, president of Eyes in the Woods, at (360) 790-3900, or Jack Smith, WDFW, at (360) 249-1222. For more information about chronic wasting disease, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/cwd/ on WDFW's website.