Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New confirmed spread of deer wasting disease in Walker's WI

[Updated on 3/23/18 from 1/23/18 - - deer farm herd implicated in fresh, troubling CWD case.] 

Maybe GOP incumbent Wisconsin Gov. and 26-year veteran career politician Scott Walker will use his State of the State speech Wednesday evening to explain why chronic wasting disease continues to spread on his watch, as the DNR reported Monday:
First CWD detection in Lincoln County will result in baiting and feeding ban in Lincoln and Langlade Counties
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received confirmation that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in northeast Lincoln County, south of Rhinelander. 
I'd noted the trend in a recent post about Walker's indifference to problems he's let fester in Wisconsin, including disintegrating roads, substandard bridges and education funding disparities:
Here are several more substantive examples where Walker's stale careerism,  distraction by presidential ambition and mail-it-in lassitude towards a base he's taking for granted could spark his undoing in November, 2018.

*  Chronic wasting disease (CWD) - - see state map of effected counties - - in the wild deer herd has been discovered in Milwaukee County - - the state's most populous - - is one startling example of a basic, known problem that Scott Walker has failed to successfully address since being sworn in as Governor in January, 2011, as outdoors writer Patrick Durkin noted last year. 

The DNR failed to adequately test the 10-mile radius around a 2011 CWD case in Washburn County; and more recently it’s failed to scientifically assess the 10-mile radiuses around CWD discoveries on private deer farms in Marathon, Oneida, Oconto, Shawano and Waupaca counties...
When Gov. Scott Walker’s administration took office in January 2011, it ignored that policy in the Washburn County case, which brought this rebuke from James Kroll, the governor’s “deer czar” in 2012:
“The reaction to the … infected deer … should have included a faster response to determine the extent of distribution. Waiting until deer season in fall 2012 to sample for CWD is not adequate. A proper approach would have been use of a health check/surveillance team … deployed immediately on such a finding. … Once the geographic context is determined, the appropriate action should be focused, localized eradication.”
And Durkin wrote separately that testing for the disease has actually fallen during Walker's tenure: 
Unfortunately, CWD testing in Wisconsin has plummeted in recent years because of budget cuts and the end of in-person deer registration in 2015. From 2002 through 2006 the Department of Natural Resources averaged 25,858 CWD tests annually. 
Soon after, lawmakers like former Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, slashed CWD funding, causing CWD tests to average 9,053 from 2007 through 2010, a nearly three-fold decline. Since 2010, the DNR has averaged a record low 5,545 CWD tests annually, even while documenting record CWD cases, including 447 in 2016.
What constituency, exactly, does less CWD testing serve as the disease is expanding?

 Likewise, what constituencies - - rural well water users, outdoors' business owners, anglers, hunters, hikers - - are served by the skyrocketing numbers of polluted waterways in the state, as well as the expanding numbers of big farms and dairy operations whose fertilizers and manure runoff downstream or leach into the water table?...

*  Same questions as Walker transfers hundreds of millions of dollars in state transportation funding, plus billions in state tax breaks to the Foxconn project in the Southeastern corner of the state while roads statewide have deteriorated to the second worst in the country.
  Speaking of trends, Wisconsin families looking to use some of our most popular state parks are looking at yet another round of admission and user fees set in motion by Walker's 2015 budget which withdrew all state parks' operating funding. 

And the Walker administration is about to approve the transfer of acreage in one of those popular destinations - - Kohler Andrae State Park south of Sheboygan on the Lake Michigan shoreline - - to help enable the construction of a private golf course planned by one of Walker's big campaign donors...

* A final, Walker-initiated disparity: While he brags about school funding he's added in his latest budget, remember:

The new money does not make classroom funding whole after his huge school financing cuts he laid down in his first budget.

Secondly, because he was in a tiff with Assembly Republicans over embarrassing budget delays, Walker actually vetoed an Assembly-crafted plan to send extra funding to lower-enrollment, fiscally-strapped, predominantly rural schools.

Like his sudden rush as election day approaches to fix the nightmarish disintegration on his watch at the violence-wracked Lincoln Hills youth prison, Walker is looking to craft and have passed a substitute measure to get the rural schools some of the funding they need.

Ill, bony "listless" Wisconsin deer with chronic wasting disease, WI DNR photo, cited here:

A bony, listless wild deer spotted in Wisconsin this spring was euthanized by the state’s department of natural resources. It tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a fatal illness that has spread to 24 states

1 comment:

Mary Kay said...

Exactly right, "What constituency, exactly, does less CWD testing serve as the disease is expanding?" Where are the days of real policy for public health?