CWD, Kentucky Hunters, PLEASE READ AND ACT!!!
I received a letter from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation indicating that an effort is being made to persuade Governor Fletcher to remove executive order 2002-1256 banning the importation of cervids into Kentucky and prohibiting the issuance of new permits for for penned deer and elk facilities. THIS IS CRITICAL AND NEEDS TO BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN JANUARY 25!!!
Please copy and paste the following text into a word processing document and print out, sign and send to the following address:
Governor Ernie Fletcher
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Hon. Ernie Fletcher
Governor of Kentucky
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Governor Fletcher:
It has come to my attention that an effort is being made to persuade you to remove executive order 2002-1256 banning the importation of cervids into Kentucky and prohibiting the issuance of new permits for penned deer and elk facilities. I ask you to leave executive order 2002-1256 in place. In fact, I would like to see it become permanent.
There are over 270,000 deer and elk hunters in Kentucky, and deer hunting generates almost $500,000,000 in economic activity in KY. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has spent over $1,500,000 restoring wild elk to Kentucky and is positioned to invest at least another $2,000,000 in the state over the next 5 years. It took over 50 years for the citizens of Kentucky to restore populations of white-tailed deer and elk to this state for the enjoyment of all. Millions of dollars were spent and countless millions of man-hours went into restoring this incredible resource. Kentucky has the privilege of being home to possibly the best quality deer herd in the United States and the largest elk population east of the Rocky Mountains. It would be senseless and reckless to risk these wonderful and irreplaceable resources for the temporary benefit of about 2 dozen penned deer facilities.
The wild deer and elk of Kentucky are owned by all the people of the state, and are held in a public trust that is the foundation of the North American Model of Wildlife Management. America has the best wildlife management system in the world. Our management model is the envy of all who would espouse to return lost wildlife populations. The emergence of these high-fence deer and elk pens is a direct threat to our wildlife management and hunting heritage that is uniquely American.
Chronic wasting Disease (CWD) is a very real risk in high-fence deer and elk operations. This letter is not long enough to list all of the catastrophic instances where deer and elk farming and importation have spread this disease, but the literature is abundant. In short, this disease is spread by horse trailers full of penned white-tailed deer and elk. Wisconsin and Illinois are dealing with this issue now and it has cost them millions in lost revenue and in direct expenses. We do not want to see sportsmanís dollars used to fight this disease in Kentucky. Please let the KDFWR regulate the industry once and for all.
In closing, I appreciate the opportunity to speak out on this issue. The KDFWR is an outstanding agency, managing an outstanding resource. Please do not make a mistake and remove executive order 2002-1256. The hunters of this state do not want to risk our deer and elk herds for the temporary benefit of a few.