Federal sharpshooters brought in to join the chronic wasting disease fight in southeast Minnesota had killed about 72 adult deer in southeast Minnesota as of Tuesday morning, including 25 Monday night.
CWD test results of many of the animals are pending.
CWD positives in the southeast remain at nine, with eight clustered between Lanesboro and Preston and one about 5 miles north.
Meanwhile, The Board of Animal Health reported negative test results Tuesday for CWD on five white-tailed deer it traced from an infected herd in Merrifield. Four deer were tested from a Brainerd herd, and a single deer from a Mountain Iron herd. Those farms were released from quarantine.
Minnesota farmed deer CWD investigations include:
• Merrifield (Crow Wing County): Herd of origin for the investigation. Positive test from two whitetails. Remains under quarantine.
• Dassel (Meeker County): Positive test from one white-tailed deer. Remains quarantined.
• Freeport (Stearns County): No tests conducted. Remains quarantined.
Conservation groups upset
Pushback was immediate Tuesday among conservation groups after President Trump directed the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to revise their 2015 Clean Water Rule, which protects wetlands and headwater streams under the Clean Water Act.
"Sportsmen will not settle for watered down protections or negligence for the habitat that supports the fish and wildlife we love to pursue," said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
It was joined by Trout Unlimited, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Izaak Walton League and the National Wildlife Federation in slamming the president's order.
Robust CRP sought
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's Dave Nomsen testified Tuesday in Washington before the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry in favor of a 40-million-acre Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the 2018 Farm Bill.
From 1990-2010, CRP averaged about 32 million acres annually, peaking in '07 at 36.7 million acres, before falling by about a third, undercutting songbird and other upland wildlife numbers.
"Whether measured by success afield by hunters, water quality improved for all, or economical support of rural communities,'' Nomsen said, "a robust CRP program of 40 million acres is both needed and sought after across the country.''
Did you know?
• 2016 Minnesota angling licenses expired Tuesday. Beginning today, anglers need 2017 licenses.