• MOU/CWD • (continued from page 1) New CWD detections in 2017 Wisconsin: CWD-positive deer were found on captive hunting ranches in Waupaca and Shawano counties. State authorities announced the new detections in October 2017. Game farms can be problematic because the disease can spread by nose-to-nose contact through the fence, or in the event a captive deer escapes into the wild. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has no plans to depopulate the hunting ranches despite the risk of other potentially undetected CWD-positive deer coming in contact with the free-ranging population. Michigan:Afree-rangewhite-taileddeerinsouthernMichigantestedpositive for CWD in late September. The 1.5-year-old buck was harvested in Montcalm County during the state’s youth hunt. Thus far, 10 free-ranging white-tailed deer have tested positive in Michigan’s Clinton, Ingham, and Montcalm counties. Minnesota: After officials traced a CWD-positive deer from a Crow Wing County deer farm to a Meeker County deer farm, the Meeker County deer farm was depopulated in April 2017. Of the 14 deer that were euthanized, four tested positive for CWD. Two of the four CWD positive deer came from a Wright County deer farm in 2014. The Wright County deer farm remains under quarantine. Education and outreach GLIFWC wildlife biologists recently worked with other Commission staff, an intertribal CWD working group, and CWD experts to develop and publish an informational brochure focusing on the threat the disease imposes on waawaas- hkeshi in the Ceded Territories. The brochure can be found at tribal registration stations throughout the Ceded Territories. In addition, GLIFWC has added a CWD page to their website. The page has answers to frequently asked questions, safe handling and carcass disposal recommendations, and testing information. The website also includes an interactive map that displays the current distribution of CWD positive detections in both captive and free-ranging populations of deer in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Access the new GLIFWC CWD website here: https://data.glifwc.org/cwd/. Another way GLIFWC biologists and policy staff have promoted education and outreach of the CWD issue has been through public information meetings in tribal communities. Last fall I traveled with GLIFWC Policy Analyst Philomena Kebec to the Sokaogon Mole Lake and Lac du Flambeau communities to speak about CWD with tribal hunters and other community members. The attendees expressed concern about CWD and asked many questions related to how CWD might impact the deer herd, or their traditional methods of deer hunting. In early November, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hosted a CWD sampling training session in Rhinelander. Members from Lac du Flambeau and Lac Vieux Desert communities and a GLIFWC biologist participated in the training. The session included background information on CWD testing, a tutorial about aging deer based on tooth eruption and wear, and hands-on extraction of lymph nodes from recently harvested deer. The objective of this training was to provide representatives from local tribal communities with an understanding of how to extract samples for CWD testing. GLIFWC has facilitated CWD testing for deer harvested in the Ceded Territories in the past and will continue to do so upon request. In addition, the Wisconsin DNR has extended an offer to help provide testing opportunities to tribal members. Carcass transport is another potential avenue that wildlife diseases, includ- ing CWD, can spread. Phone registration has been implemented for deer this fall, primarily for hunter convenience, but it will also help to minimize the risk of spreading wildlife disease via carcass transport. Successful tribal deer hunters are encouraged to register their harvest over the phone at 844-234-5439. You will need your NAGFA ID number, carcass tag number, date of harvest, county, and management unit to register your harvest. Seeglifwc.org/Regulations/GLIFWC.phone.registration.instructions.pdf for detailed instructions. Elk herd health One issue that keeps coming up in discussions about CWD is how the disease could also affect the omashkoozoog (elk) populations that are part of restoration efforts conducted over the past few decades.Agreat deal of financial and logistical planning has gone into the elk restoration program. Arduous steps were taken to ensure the elk were sourced from an area where CWD has not been detected and that any feed given to the translocated elk while in quarantine pens was sourced from areas that were CWD-free. Tribal gaming contributions to Wisconsin’s elk reintroduction program total $1.7 million since 2001. State agencies and other groups, such as the Rocky Moun- tain Elk Foundation have also made significant contributions to the elk restora- tion efforts in Wisconsin. However, the issue of CWD is not going away and the threat to free-ranging white-tailed deer and elk populations continues to grow as CWD spreads. GLIFWC wildlife biologists will continue to investigate potential actions that can be taken to further protect wild deer and elk populations that are so important to tribal communities throughout the Ceded Territories. CWD threat looms across region Pick up the phone hunters! Successful tribal deer hunters are encouraged to register their harvest over the phone at 844-234-5439.You will need your NAGFAID number, carcass tag number, date of harvest, county, and management unit to register your harvest. Phone registration eliminates the need to transport your harvest to a registration station, and can help prevent the spread of wildlife diseases, including CWD. Turkeys and cranes can also be registered over the phone, see glifwc.org/Regulations/GLIFWC.phone.registration.instructions.pdf for detailed instructions. By Alex Wrobel, GLIFWC Forest Ecologist In recent years, due to an increase in costs associated with home heating, the tribes have looked to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entitled Tribal-USDA Forest Service Relations on National Forest Lands within the Ceded Territories in Treaties of 1836, 1837, and 1842 to provide an additional fuelwood sourcefortheircommunitiesbeyondwhatcanbeharvestedfromreservationlands. Pursuant to the MOU Gathering Code (which provides the basic regulations for tribal members gathering plants in Ceded Territory National Forests), with a small-scale firewood permit tribal members may: ❀ Harvest up to ten cords of firewood. ❀ Generally only gather dead and down trees. ❀ Not cut any standing dead trees within 100 feet of any road or designated use area. ❀ Not cut down standing dead trees on the National Forest within 200 feet of a pond, lake, stream or river. ❀ Not cut any live tree for firewood unless your tribe has issued you a special permit to do so. While collecting dead and down trees may suffice for singular household needs, tribes have identified the need to provide fuelwood for their communities at a broader scale. To fulfill this need in an efficient manner, the tribes would need to harvest live standing timber in addition to dead and down trees. Here are some circumstances that you may receive a harvest permit to cut live trees for firewood: ❀ There is a designated National Forest “firewood sale” location, or ❀ A sugarbush permit allows you to do so, or ❀ You possess a small scale timber permit which is valid for five live trees. Inaddition,yourtribehastheopportunitytonegotiateanagreementtoharvest live standing timber under Appendix C of the MOU, the Tribal Timber Harvest Framework Agreement. Initially, tribes worked with GLIFWC and the appropriate District Ranger to develop locations where live trees could be harvested by hand, however it was soon discovered that the amount of man-power and resources needed to harvest large amounts of timber are outside of the capacity of hand- felling operations. This started a conversation about tribes contracting to logging companies, not only to harvest the timber needed for the tribe, but to also fulfill management objectives for the US Forest Service (USFS). Currently, there are four tribes with signed OperatingAgreements to carry out mechanized logging operations on National Forest lands in the Ceded Territories with three others under negotiation. While this is a relatively new concept, it is yet another example of the successful working relationship that the tribes have developed with the USFS on ceded lands. Parties interested in small-scale permits for firewood can contact their tribal registration office.Tribes interested in harvesting timber under theTimber Harvest Framework can contact their Voigt Intertribal Task Force representative, or myself at awrobel@glifwc.org. Tribes putting the MOU to work Sokaogon’s Wayne LaBine and Mark Dilly, US Forest Service, inspect a fire- wood harvest site. (A. Wrobel photo) MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 4 WINTER 2017/2018