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             The EDF is a non-profit foundation, comprised of three board members and twelve committee members, whose purpose is to raise funds and coordinate the effort to find an answer to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a progressive disease of the nervous system of mule deer, white tailed deer and elk. The EDF's mission is "to investigate the possibility of a pre-clinical test, define transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease, and determine if there is a carrier state in elk with Chronic Wasting Disease." (Proposed Study for Chronic Wasting Disease, pg. 1).
             In the past five years approximately 13,000 elk have been killed in the United States and Canada in an attempt to stop the spread of CWD. The EDF's goal is to develop a live animal test by studying a live elk herd, at the Velvet Ridge Ranch, in foothills west of Fort Collins, Colorado. This herd has been exposed to CWD and the foundation now has the opportunity to investigate live, exposed animals in a natural setting.
             The EDF is coordinating the efforts of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Animal Research Services/USDA, the Cattlemen's Association and the Velvet Ridge Ranch toward finding a cure for CWD. A study is being performed using the Velvet Ridge Ranch, located in the foothills of Northern Colorado, and is in what is defined by the Division of Wildlife as a "hot spot" in the endemic area of CWD. This ranch has donated the use of their elk herd for the above objectives over a ten-year period. The owners of the ranch are a part of the EDF and are part of the team working on the cure. Funds are being raised by Foundation to allow the experimentation and research to continue. .
             The EDF competes with other charitable organizations, such as churches, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and United Way. In times of economic recession, people's discretionary income decreases. The Foundation has to compete with discretionary income spending on things such as movies and restaurants as well as charitable contributions.

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