Understanding perceptions of risk from chronic wasting for tribal communities in the Midwest
September 2020 - December 2022
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The objectives of the project are to better understand key concerns and perspectives of tribes in Region 3 USFWS related to CWD management and CWD’s potential to impact hunting participation and the food security of tribal members for whom deer and elk are managed for hunting. Addressing CWD and its impacts will be a long-term, nationwide effort. This proposal will serve as a primary step to building essential knowledge about the potential for CWDs to impact the North American Model of Wildlife Management as well as for addressing CWD on tribal lands. We will use culturally appropriate ethnographic approaches to conduct indepth interviews and nominal group research to better understand tribal perspectives and indigenous knowledge concerning the risks of CWD to hunting opportunities, food security, and cultural practices (Daigle, Michelle, Ranco, and Emery 2019; Dockry, Hall, Van Lopik, and Caldwell 2016; Emery, Wrobel, Hansen, Dockry, Moser, Stark, and Gilbert 2014). Such systematic information concerning the perceived threat of CWD will be extremely useful to the tribes and wildlife management agencies in planning and prioritizing future research and management activities to address CWD and its impacts. Specifically, we will:
1) Complete a systematic review of research and activities addressing the human dimensions of CWD to develop a state-of-the-knowledge summary of the topic; 2) Complete interviews and nominal groups workshops with tribal leadership and members across Region 3 USFWS affected or potentially affected by CWD; 3) Identify participants’ perceived risks of CWD to hunting, food security, and cultural practices; 4) Identify the Tribes indigenous knowledge and participants’ personal beliefs about research and management activities to address the perceived risks of CWD to hunting, food security, and cultural practices; 5) Identify participants’ prioritization for research and management activities to address the perceived risks of CWD to hunting, food security, and cultural practices; 6) Use the study results to help information management plans and programs at the federal, state and tribal levels design to address the threat of CWD to hunting and food security.
The proposed project is the first step in assessing the key threats posed by CWD for hunting participation, cultural practices, and food security for Tribes in the Midwest. A better understanding of these threats and management actions to address such threats could help in the design of the federal, state, and tribal programs that are resilient to such threats. Results of the group workshops will provide useful information about CWD threats and potential management actions and will be crucial to designing long-term management programs and research efforts.