Douglas County could extend a moratorium that affects deer farms and hunting reserves for a year as work continues to develop a new zoning district.

The group studying how to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease is seeking more time to develop a new agricultural zoning district that would establish requirements for the importation of deer and protocols in the event a captive deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Douglas County.

“It could be extended up to a year; could we word it like that?” Supervisor Peter Clark asked.

Clark, who serves on the study group, voted against the moratorium last year because of its potential impact on business for the two existing deer farms in Douglas County.

Once that zoning district is adopted by the Douglas County Board, it would have to go to the towns and garner the approval of at least half of them before it would go into effect, said Mary Lou Bergman, chairwoman of the study group.

“It’s going to take some time,” Bergman said. However, she said the moratorium would only be extended as long as necessary for the work to be completed.

An early draft of the ordinance was handed out Thursday, Aug. 15 and the group will consider specific requirements for the zoning district when it meets Sept. 25.

Douglas County initiated the moratorium in November.

The study group approved the extension Thursday, which will be considered by the Douglas County Zoning Committee when it meets Sept. 11.

The Douglas County Board has final say on the extension if approved by the Zoning Committee.