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Park Service plan fights deer disease

February 08, 2007

The National Park Service is developing a plan to respond to the potential threat of chronic wasting disease to white-tailed deer, according to a park service press release.

The purpose of the plan is to develop a range of strategies for the detection of and initial response to the disease in white-tailed deer at Antietam and Monocacy national battlefields.

The disease has not been detected in Maryland but has been detected in West Virginia within a 60-mile radius of several national parks, according to the release.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease that affects captive and free-ranging deer, causing brain lesions that result in progressive weight loss, behavioral changes and eventually death, according to the release.

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Two public meetings will be held to introduce the planning process and to get residents' input.

The first meeting will be Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the visitors center at Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg.

The second meeting will be Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Gambrill House at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, Md., three miles south of the city along Md. 355.

Public comment will be accepted at either of the meetings or electronically at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/anti. Comments will be accepted until March 16.

Additional information about the battlefields can be found at www.nps.gov/anti and www.nps.gov/mono.

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