GOVERNOR’S CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE TASK FORCE
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
WHEREAS, Article V, Section 4 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 authorizes the establishment of temporary commissions or agencies for special purposes;
WHEREAS, Section 1 of 1931 PA 195, MCL 10.51, authorizes and empowers the Governor, at such times and for such purposes as the Governor deems necessary or advisable, to create special commissions consisting of as many members as the Governor deems appropriate;
WHEREAS, chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease of deer and elk, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep, characterized by loss of body condition, behavioral abnormalities, and death;
WHEREAS, chronic wasting disease can reduce the growth and size of deer and elk populations in areas where the prevalence of the disease is high, and is of increasing concern for wildlife managers across North America;
WHEREAS, there is no reliable live animal testing available for diagnosing chronic wasting disease, nor a treatment available, and information about the spread and long term implications of the disease is incomplete;
WHEREAS, once a disease thought to be limited in the wild to a relatively small endemic area in northeastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming and southwestern Nebraska, chronic wasting disease has recently been found in new areas of Colorado and Nebraska, among wild deer in Illinois, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Saskatchewan, and among captive herds in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan and Alberta;
WHEREAS, the spread of chronic wasting disease beyond its historic range threatens more than elk and deer in Michigan. If allowed to spread into Michigan, the disease has the potential to negatively impact other wildlife populations, limit interest in recreational and commercial use of deer and elk, and negatively impact rural economies;
WHEREAS, the increased occurrence of chronic wasting disease in regionally diverse locations necessitates a coordinated state response and an escalation in research, surveillance, monitoring, and management activities focused on containing and managing this lethal deer and elk disease and establishing preventative measures to keep the disease out of Michigan;
WHEREAS, the Natural Resources Commission, the Agriculture Commission, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture have worked well to date to institute policies and procedures for the Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture to limit the threat posed by the disease; and
WHEREAS, greater partnership among the Michigan Departments of Agriculture, Community Health, Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, State Police, and Transportation, as well as other state, federal, and provincial, and local agencies in the Great Lakes region and beyond is necessary to prevent and control the spread of chronic wasting disease.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the state of Michigan, pursuant of the powers vested in me by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, order the following:
I. GOVERNOR’S CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE TASK FORCE
A. The Governor’s Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force (“Task Force”) is created within the Executive Office of the Governor.
B. The members of the Task Force shall include five members of the public appointed by the Governor.
C. The Directors of the Departments of Agriculture, Community Health, Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, State Police, and Transportation, or their designates, shall serve as ex officio, non-voting members of the Task Force.
D. The members of the Task Force shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
E. A vacancy on the Task Force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
II. CHARGE TO THE TASK FORCE
A. The Task Force shall act in an advisory capacity to the Executive Office of the Governor and shall:
1. Review existing state efforts regarding the prevention of chronic wasting disease.
2. Develop and make recommendations to implement a comprehensive and coordinated state chronic wasting disease prevention plan.
3. Make recommendations on the clarification of enforcement authority to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into Michigan, and if ever detected in Michigan, to prevent its spread within this state.
4. Recommend a process for the development of a widely-accessible reference database of available and current information concerning chronic wasting disease.
5. Identify mechanisms to promote effective communications and coordination of efforts between state, federal, provincial, and local officials regarding chronic wasting disease.
B. The Task Force shall complete its work and issue a final report and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Governor by September 19, 2003.
III. OPERATIONS OF THE TASK FORCE
A. The Governor shall designate one member of the Task Force as Chairperson to serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
B. The Chairperson shall select from among the members of the Task Force a Vice-Chairperson and a Secretary. Task force staff shall assist the Secretary with recordkeeping responsibilities.
C. The Task Force shall be staffed by personnel from and assisted by the Departments of Agriculture, Community Health, Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, State Police, and Transportation, as requested by the Executive Office of the Governor.
D. The Task Force may adopt procedures, not inconsistent with Michigan law and this executive order, governing its organization and operations. The Task Force may establish subcommittees as it deems advisable.
E. The Task Force shall meet at the call of the Chairperson, or the Vice-Chairperson or other designee of the Chairperson, and as may be provided in procedures adopted by the Task Force.
F. The Task Force shall act by a majority vote of its serving members. A majority of the members present and voting constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business of the Task Force at a meeting.
G. In developing recommendations, the Task Force may, as appropriate, make inquiries, studies, investigations, hold hearings, and receive comments from the public. The Task Force may consult with outside experts in order to perform its duties, including but not limited to experts at state universities, state agencies, and federal agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
H. Members of the Task Force shall serve without compensation. Members of the Task Force may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses according to relevant statutes and the rules and procedures of the Department of Management and Budget and the Civil Service Commission, subject to available appropriations.
I. The Task Force may hire or retain such contractors, sub-contractors, advisors, consultants and agents, and may make and enter into contracts necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers of the Task Force and the performance of its duties as the Executive Office of the Governor deems advisable and necessary, in accordance with the relevant statutes, rules, and procedures of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Management and Budget.
J. The Task Force may accept donations of labor, services, or other things of value from any public or private agency or person.
K. Members of the Task Force shall refer all legal, legislative, and media contacts to the Executive Office of the Governor.
A. All departments, committees, commissioners, or officers of this state or of any political subdivision of this state shall give to the Task Force, or to any member or representative of the Task Force, any necessary assistance required by the Task Force, or any member or representative of the Task Force, in the performance of the duties of the Task Force so far as is compatible with its, his, or her duties. Free access shall also be given to any books, records or documents in its, his, or her custody, relating to matters within the scope of inquiry, study, or investigation of the Task Force.
B. The invalidity of any portion of this Order shall not affect the validity of the remainder the order.
This Order is effective upon filing.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the state of Michigan this 28th day of February, 2003.
Jennifer M. Granholm
BY THE GOVERNOR:
SECRETARY OF STATE