Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24Published by the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission Fall 2016 Storms packing rain, then wind, pound Ojibwe Country By Charlie Otto Rasmussen, Staff Writer Manoomin investments pay off for harvesters and wildlife Cooperativemanoominrestoration projects can be found scattered across the Ceded Territories, but some of the best examples can be found in Burnett County, Wisconsin, on the Crex Mead- ows Wildlife Area. Wild rice has successfully been established on several flowages on this incredible wetland complex tucked into the sand barrens in the northwest corner of the state. Perhaps the best known of these is the Phantom Flowage—but last fall Phantom was outshone by the North Fork Flowage, which harvest surveys suggest was the most heavily harvested rice bed in the state last year. The stories for Phantom and North Fork are similar. Both are artificial impoundments created primarily for the benefit of wildlife, especially migratory birds. Both offered the habitat require- ments manoomin needs, but given wild rice’s limited natural dispersal ability, neither was colonized until they were seeded in a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and GLIFWC. NorthForkwasseedednearlyevery year between 1990 and 1997. However, seeding amounts were generally quite modest.Overthatentireperiodlessthan 1,200 pounds of seed was sown into the shallowsontheupperendoftheflowage. Small amounts of manoomin showed up quickly, and the ducks with it.Ittookhumanharvestersalittlelonger to find the rice, but North Fork began showing up in the annual harvest fairly consistently beginning in 2000. Since then there have been good years and poor years—but nothing as good as last fall when the stars seemed to align over this water. The stand was large; though not the largest it has been; the density good but not so thick as to make harvesting difficultortopromotediseaseoutbreaks; By Lisa David & Peter David GLIFWC Wildlife Biologists North Fork Flowage in northwest Wisconsin—a manoomin success story. (Peter David photo) (see Resources, page 4) A series of powerful overnight thunderstorms rolled through the heart of the Ceded Territory July 11-12 dumping up to 10 inches of rain in some locations. The dramatic weather event launched days of historic flooding that destroyed sections of roadways, isolating homes and communities including the hard-hit Bad River Ojibwe reservation. “At first it looked like a big summer storm, something you see in most years,” said Jim Stone, Flood Incident Command Officer for portions of Ashland County, Wis. “Then it became something, much, much more.” Bad River officials declared a state of emergency and launched a community evacuation as floodwaters flowed over the banks of every waterway in the area. Some residents along the upper Kakagon River quickly became trapped in their homes. Stone, a veteran GLIFWC warden, and Tribal Officer John Patrick belted on life jackets and waded chest-deep through pale brown floodwater, pulling three people from their homes to the safety of higher ground. Beyond the reservation, flooding claimed the lives of three people near Saxon Harbor, Cable and Marengo. “With so many challenges, all the agencies involved really worked well together in response to the flooding,” Stone said, naming the Wisconsin Depart- ment of Transportation engineers and Wisconsin Air National Guard as standouts in a wide-ranging effort. Upon learning that five people in need of dialysis were stranded near New Odanah, the Guard dispatched a Blackhawk helicopter to rush thetribalelderstoanareahospitalfortreatment.Ontheground,highwayengineers worked around the clock to repair washouts and the battered Kakagon bridge. In east-central Minnesota where the Mille Lacs Band occupies widespread reservation land, rainfall ranged from 6.92-inches near Brainerd to 2.17 inches at Wright according the National Weather Service at Duluth. The storms dumped just over five inches in the Moose Lake area. Floodwaters engulfed portions of State Highway48,cuttingoffaccesstotribalservicesaroundtheLakeLenaCommunity. “WashoutsalsoimpactedtheEastLakeCommunity,”saidMonteFronk,Mille Lacs emergency management officer. “Band services were closed in several areas to keep people off the road and safe.” One-two-punch Ten days later another storm produced sustained 75 mph winds, cutting off power for many residents of Bad River, Fond du Lac, and Red Cliff Communities. Meteorologists put wind speeds in perspective, noting the July 21 storm matched Category One hurricane strength based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Mature trees lost any number of stout branches or were completely knocked over, exposing large circular root balls. (see Communities rally, page 2) As highway engineers discuss repair plans in a washed out section of US Highway 2, flood relief volunteers hand-carry supplies to waiting vehicles bound for New Odanah July 14. (CO Rasmussen photo) PAGE 1 MAZINA’IGAN FALL 2016