view of areas cut and reseeded 2015
site in relation to FDL
The Fond du Lac Natural Resources Program has begun a large
manoomin (wild rice) restoration effort in Nagaajiwanaang (the lower
St. Louis River Estuary). This area where the name of our Band is
derived from, is where our ancestors riced for generations. Manoomin
habitat was altered and neglected over the past 150 years as the
Duluth Harbor was developed, industries polluted, the old growth
forest was harvested, and hydropower dams were installed. As part
of a cooperative effort between Minnesota DNR, Wisconsin DNR, MN
Land Trust, 1854 Treaty Authority, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish
and Wildlife Commission, work is underway to bring back approximately
275 acres of manoomin over the next 10 years.
Fond du Lac Natural Resources staff will again be using its
aquatic plant harvester barge to remove competing perennial vegetation
from shallow sheltered bay areas identified by the partner agencies.
The plant removal is "site preparation" for reseeding that will
take place this fall. The seed for this effort will be purchased
by Fond du Lac Natural Resources staff from Fond du Lac Band members
and other manoomin harvesters at several locations. This is an opportunity
for Band members and their families to earn additional income while
also being part of bringing back manoomin to Nagaajiwanaang. For
this coming fall, approximately 253 acres will need to be reseeded
(121 acres from 2015 plus 132 new acres). Recommendations for restoration
call for a minimum of 50 pounds per acre. This means we need to
acquire 12,650 pounds of seed.
In order to acquire this much seed and provide a diverse local
mix of manoomin, our purchase locations will expand out into our
Ceded Territories and beyond. Only 2500 pounds of the seed for this
effort will come from Reservation lakes. We have identified several
locations that we will monitor manoomin development over the summer.
Locations under consideration are Sandy Flowage, Minnewawa Lake,
Moosehorn River, Kettle Lake, and St. Louis River Headwaters (near
Skibo, Minn.). We will buy manoomin much the same as is done during
our Reservation harvest. A team of natural resources technicians
will weigh your manoomin at the lake or river landing and issue
you a receipt which you will then bring to the Resource Management
offices for payment. We plan to offer harvesters $4/pound for their
efforts up to the point where all needed seed is acquired.
Ginandodamawininim (I am asking you all) to consider being part
of this effort. We welcome all Band members to contribute to this
effort and we will be using our website, our Resource Management
front desk, and social media to communicate the daily location of
our purchasing team so that all Band members are informed.
If you have any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (218) 878-7163.