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MAZINAIGANPAGE10SPRINGSUMMER2014MOUSEEDBANKTheheadforesterintheEasternRegionparticipatedintheTribalForestServiceMOUmemorandumofunderstandingmeetinglastFebruary.TherichhistorybetweentheForestServiceandareatribesisimpressivesaidKathleenAtkinsonattendingherfirstgather-ingwithOjibwetreatybands.Ilookforwardworkingwiththetribestocontinuallyimproveourgovernment-to-governmentrelationships.AtkinsonassumedtheforesterpostayearagoafterthreedecadesofworkonnationalforestsinGeorgiaFloridaLouisianaArizonaandSouthDakotasBlackHillsplusdutyinWashingtonDC.ShesaidrelationsbetweentheForestServiceandAmericanIndiantribeshaveimprovedsignificantlyduringhercareerpoint-ingtothesuccessoftheMOUasanexample.Itsnotaneasyprocessdoingthingsthatworkforeverybodyshesaid.Werefocusedonmeetingneedsnotjustcompletingagoal.TheMOUwasforgedinthelate1990stooutlinetheexerciseoftreatyrightsonnationalforestswithinthe18361837and1842Treatycededterritories.TribalandUSDAForestServiceofficialsmeetannuallytoreviewprogressimplementingtheagreementwhichincludesforestproductharvestingandcooperativeresearchprojects.NowstationedattheRegionalOfficeinMilwaukeeAtkinsongrewupona120-acrefarminsouthwestMichigan.HereducationincludesaBachelordegreeinForestryfromtheUniversityofMichiganandaMasterinPublicAdministra-tionfromtheUniversityofSouthDakota.RegionalForestercompletesfirstyearjoinstribesatMOUtableKathleenAtkinson.PhotobyCORasmussenByCharlieOttoRasmussenStaffwriterVITFmovestopursuegatheringandsavingseedsBySueEricksonStaffWriterTribalrepresentativesopenedtheMOUmeetingwithapairofsongsontheGLIFWCdrum.USDAForestServiceofcialsappearseatedinthebackground.PhotobyCORCooperativeNationalForestmanagementharvestshapesMOUcallthepracticetimberstandimprovementbutinthiscaseculledtreesleavetheforestfortribalwoodstoves.ItsanicewaytofilltheneedforhomeheatingintribalcommunitieswhilecompletingforestrypracticesonnationalforestlandssaidMaryRasmussenUSForestServicetriballiaison.Dramaticfluctuationsthispastwinterinthepriceofpropanegascommonlyusedtoheatnorthwoodshomesmakeswoodanotablealternativefueltoconsider.LacduFlambeaumembersfiredupchainsawsatthefirsttribalgatheringtractinlate2012removingselecthardwoodsfromtheChequamegon-NicoletNationalForest.RasmussenandLdFrepresentativesmarkedtheoccasionwithanoutdoorpipeceremony.ContactWrobel715.682.6619ext.2125togetstartedonatribalfirewoodparcel.LacduFlambeauWis.FifteenyearsafterforgingtheTribalForestServiceMemorandumofUnderstandingMOUitsadministratorssaidthatthehistoricagreementhashelpedelevaterelationsbetweenGLIFWCmemberbandsandNationalForestmanagersinthecededterritory.OurMOUissomethingIbragaboutsaidMicIshamGLIFWCBoardofCommissionersChairmanattheFebruary5annualmeeting.Imtryingtogetcountiestolookatitasamodel.WhiletheMOUpactisnotapplicabletocountyforestsitdoesspell-outguidelinesforthetreatyharvestofwildplantsandotherforestproductsonNationalForestsitalsoprovidesafoundationforcooperativeworkbetweenagencybiolo-gistsandlawenforcementofficers.TheworkthatthisMOUrepresentsisamazingsaidKathleenAtkinsonUSDARegionalForester.UndertheMOUinteragencybiologistscarryoutmartenwaabizheskiresearchandstudytheimpactsofloggingonherbaceousplants.Lawenforcementofficersconductjointpatrolsandworktostopillegalgrowersfromdestroyingforestlandtoproducemarijuana.TheUSDANorthernResearchStationisalsoasignatorymemberoftheMOUandhelpstoincorporateTEKortraditionalecologicalknowledgeintohowforestsareunderstoodandmanagedbyallstakeholdersMOUannualmeetingsaretypicallyheldinOctoberhoweverschedulingconflictsandultimatelythefederalgovernmentshutdownforcedofficialstopostponethe2013meetinguntilFebruary.FirewoodPlannowforhomeheatingFollowingthesuccessfullaunchofatribalfirewoodgatheringsiteonNationalForestlandGLIFWCofficialsareencouragingwoodcutterstoplanforthe2014-15seasonassoonaspossible.ItsaprocessthattakesconsiderablecoordinationbetweenthetribalcommunityandpropertymanagerssaidAlexandraWrobelGLIFWCForestEcologist.Treatyharvestersshouldfirstdeterminetreespeciesfire-woodvolumeanddesiredlocation.Throughaprovisioninthe1999TribalForestServiceMemorandumofUnderstandingthecededterritorysfournationalforestsprovidefirewoodgatheringopportunitiesinWisconsinandMichigan.GLIFWCstaffisalsoconsultingwithtribalelderstolearnmoreappropriateapplicationsofTEKintofirewoodharvestplans.Recentlysometribalfirewoodlocationsweresitedwithinplannedtimbermanagementactivities.Forexampledesignatedrestorationparcelscharacterizedbyovercrowdedorcrookedtreescanbeanidealspottocutandcollectfirewood.ForestersByCharlieOttoRasmussenStaffwriterOdanahWis.TheVoigtInter-tribalTaskForcepassedamotionatitsAprilmeetingtopursueaMemorandumofUnderstandingMOUwiththeUniversityofMinnesotasNorthCen-tralResearchStationasasteptowardspreservingnativeseeds.ThemovetopreserveseedsisstimulatedbythedestructionofmillionsofnativeashtreesbothaagimaakblackashandbaapaagimaakwhiteashbythevoraciousemeraldashborerEABanexoticbeetleoriginatinginAsia.In2013thebeetlewasfoundinSuperiorWisconsinintheheartofthecededterritoriessothethreattonativeashisimminent.Collectingseedsandputtingtheminlong-termstorageisawayofpreservingthegeneticdiversityneededtorecreatelocationpopulationsintheeventtheEABcompletelydestroystheashresourceinthecededterritoriesstatesGLIFWCForestEcologistAlexWrobel.Wrobelexplainsthatseedscanremainviableforupto20yearsifproperlydriedandstoredataconstanttemperatureandrelativehumidity.NativeseedscanbecollectedandsenttotheNorthCentralResearchStationwheretheywouldbecleanedanddriedandultimatelysenttoalargenationalseedbanktheNationalCenterforGeneticResourcesPreservationinFt.CollinsColorado.TheMOUessentiallyassuresthatthetribesretainownershipoftheseedandalsowillbetheonlycontactforrequestsforseedwithdrawal.Ashtreescontinuetobeanimpor-tantresourcefortheOjibwepeoplewhohaveincorporatedashintoavarietyofutilitarianandartistichand-crafteditemssuchasbasketspushpolesbowsskisandcradleboardsWrobelsays.Whilethethreattonativeashisattheforefrontofconcerncurrentlytherehasbeenamovementunderwaytosecureseedsfromavarietyofnativeplantssuchaspumpkinssquashandcornwhoseintegritycanbethreatenedbygeneticallymodifiedvarietiescur-rentlybeingsoldandplanted.ToaddressthisissueafederalbillstemmingfromtheNewMexicodelegationwasintroducedinDecember2013thatwouldprovidefederalgrantsforresearcheducationandtrainingtopreservetheintegrityofNativeAmeri-canseedsusedforculturalreligiousagriculturalandotherpurposes.TheNativeAmericanSeedsProtectionActH.R.3782anditscompanionintheSenateS.2116wouldalsoprovidemoreseedstoragefacilitiesiftheyarepassed.ForapowerfulpresentationontheimportanceofnativeseedsviewWinonaLaDukespresentationSeedstheCreatorGaveUsonYouTube.