The Conservation Commission met June 5 and 6 at Conservation Department Headquarters in Jefferson City. Commissioners present were:
Don C. Bedell, Sikeston, Chair
James T. Blair, IV, St. Louis, Vice Chair/Secretary
Marilynn J. Bradford, Jefferson City, Member
David W. Murphy, Columbia, Member
The Conservation Commission received a report from Dr. John Fischer, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, Athens, and director of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, regarding a national overview of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and deer health issues. The Commission also heard reports from Protection Division Chief Larry Yamnitz and Resource Science Division Chief Mike Hubbard regarding proposed regulation changes related to captive-deer facilities and received comments on the proposed regulation changes from individuals listed below who submitted written requests prior to the meeting, representing several organizations and thousands of Missourians.
• Tony Kalna, Missouri Deer Hunter Magazine, Dittmer, Missouri
• Chris Kossmeyer, Marceline, Missouri
• Kathy Etling, Osage Beach, Missouri
• Matt Ross, Quality Deer Management Association, Clifton Park, New York
• Robert Brundage, Missouri, Conservation Federation of Missouri Chronic Wasting Disease Committee, Jefferson City
• Dick Wood, Sappington, Missouri
• Earl Cannon, Jefferson City, Missouri
• Thomas Rizzo, Quality Deer Management Association, St. Louis, Missouri
• Elsa Gallagher, Pheasants Forever, Inc., and Quail Forever, Excello, Missouri
The Conservation Commission approved Regulations Committee recommendations that will:
• Require the facility of a new permit applicant for Class I and Class II wildlife breeder or big-game hunting preserves to be double fenced. Existing facilities having the same permit holder will operate under current fencing requirements. As with all the proposed amendments, the Commission is actively seeking public comment on fencing amendments.
• Require new applicants for Class I Wildlife Breeder Permits to hold white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids (deer), to pass a written examination provided by the Department and have an on-site inspection prior to and after construction of the breeding facility as part of the application process.
• Prohibit importation of live white-tailed deer, mule deer, or their hybrids into the state.
• Prohibit the display of live deer other than as is listed on permits.
• Prohibit the construction of any new Class I or Class II wildlife breeding facilities for deer within 25 miles of a location where CWD-positive animal or animals have been confirmed by the Conservation Department.
• Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders and big-game hunting preserves to test all mortalities of deer that are older than six months for CWD.
• Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer to report confirmed positive-disease results to the Conservation Department.
• Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders to comply with a herd-disease response plan approved by the Conservation Department in the event that CWD is discovered.
• Require Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer to maintain participation in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.
• Establish a stipulation that the Conservation Department can require additional disease sampling and testing during disease investigations or morbidity/mortality events at Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer.
• Require source herds for deer and elk at Class I and Class II wildlife breeder facilities that hold deer to be enrolled in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.
• Establish a requirement for Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer to conduct an annual herd inventory in the presence of an accredited veterinarian during the annual inventory, the signature of an attending accredited veterinarian on herd records, individual animal identification, and individual animal documentation including results of CWD testing.
• Set a minimum period of time that records must be kept by Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold deer.
• Prohibit the propagation, holding in captivity, and hunting of hogs within a big-game hunting preserve unless already approved by a specific date.
• Set a requirement for holders of Licensed Big Game Hunting Preserve Permits to conduct disease testing, report disease test results, maintain movement documentation, adhere to fencing standards, and comply with a disease response plan in the event CWD is discovered.
• Set a minimum period of time that movement records must be kept by holders of Licensed Big Game Hunting Preserve Permits.
• Prohibit the use of imported deer or elk (cervids) in a licensed big game hunting preserve.
• Prohibit the construction of any new big-game hunting preserve within 25 miles of a location where a CWD-positive animal or animals have been confirmed by the Conservation Department.
• Require source herds for deer and elk at big-game hunting preserves to be enrolled in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.
• Establish a requirement for more information within inventories and record keeping for cervids on big-game hunting preserves.
• Require a minimum period of time that records must be kept for cervids on big-game hunting preserves.
In approving the changes, the Commission emphasized the importance of an informed, involved public to ensure the health of Missouri’s deer herd now and in the future. Details of the proposed regulation changes will be published in the Missouri Register. A presentation regarding captive-deer regulation changes is available at mdc.mo.gov/node/28400. The Conservation Department encourages Missourians to review this presentation and comment on the changes. Comments can be submitted online at mdc.mo.gov/deerhealth or on comment cards available at Conservation Department regional offices and nature centers.
• Received presentations from:
• Approved the sale of the 5-acre Brookfield Maintenance Center in Linn County.
• Approved the purchase of 240 acres in Shannon County as an addition to Sunklands Conservation Area (CA).
• Approved the purchase of 635 acres in Shannon County as an addition to Sunklands CA.
• Approved the purchase of 2,053 acres in Texas County as an addition to Sunklands CA.
• Approved the exchange of 59 acres of a disjunct tract of Sunklands CA in Shannon County for 205.5 acres in Franklin County and a lease of 1,241 acres in Cole County.
• Approved entering into a contract with Martin General Contractors, L.L.C., Eolia, Mo., for the construction of the Conservation Commission Headquarters Ground Coupled Heat Pumps for C, D, and F Buildings project in Cole County, at a total estimated cost of $393,510.40.
• Approved entering into a contract with Cannon General Contractors, Inc., Troy, Mo., for construction of the Rocky Forks Lake Conservation Area (CA) Range Upgrade project in Boone County, at a total estimated cost of $223,016.
• Approved the Fiscal Year 2015 Internal Expenditure Plan.
• Approved recommendations for the 2015 Conservation Employees’ Benefits Plan.
• Approved the advertisement and sale of estimated 939,003 million board feet of timber on 331 acres on Compartment 14 of Indian Trail CA in Dent County.
• Suspended hunting, fishing, and/or trapping privileges of 22 Missouri residents and three nonresidents for Wildlife Code violations. Those whose privileges were suspended are:
Michael J. Abounader, Kirkwood, hunting, 4 years
Shawn Berryhill, Arcadia, all sport privileges, 1 year
Wyatt E. Callen, Rolla, hunting, 3 years
Erik E. Casas, Wheaton, hunting, 2.5 years
Carrie L. Covington, Rush Hill, all sport privileges, 1 year
Bruce A. Crump, Mineral Point, hunting, 2 years
Damien Q. Dinh, Sutter Creek, Calif., hunting, until 3-7-15
Karl J. Dinwiddie, Elkland, hunting, 1 year
Kenneth C. Drewes, Troy, hunting 1 year
Nick W. Edwards, Boonville, hunting and trapping, 1 year
Norman F. Glazier, Sedalia, fishing 2 years
Tyler A. Gordy, Huntsville, hunting 3 years
Garry W. Hayes, Buckner, hunting 3 years
Thomas A. Howard, Hamilton, hunting and trapping, 4 years
Kyle J. Kettwig, Doniphan, hunting, 3 years
Steven L. Krider, Independence, hunting and fishing, 1 year
Brenden L. Macomber, Annapolis, hunting, 1 year
Andrey Marchuk, Springfield, fishing 4 years
Curtis D. Matheney, Centertown, hunting, 1 year
Wayne E. Mosier, Bismarck, hunting, 4 years
Jeffrey R. Reid, Loranger, La., hunting, 2 years
Alex A. Shuda, Sedalia, fishing, 1 year
Brandon L. Snyder, Minburn, Iowa, hunting, 1 year
Calvin J. Speckhals, Jefferson City, all sport privileges, 1 year
Franklin D. Surratt, Aurora, hunting, 2 years
• Approved the suspension or revocation of all hunting and fishing privileges of 309 people who are not in compliance with applicable child-support laws. Privileges suspended for noncompliance are reinstated once the Division of Child Support Enforcement notifies MDC that suspendees have come into compliance with the required laws.
• Suspended privileges of 387 nonresidents under the provisions of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
• Set its next regular meeting for July 10 and 11.