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 24• WALKING ON • and bobcats, #1.5 coil spring traps were placed. Dog-proof traps were used in raccoon and skunk trap sets. Wardens checked the traps every day looking for animals, fresh signs of animal activity, and refreshing scent or bait. This routine was conducted for six days. Warm temperatures and rain made trapping particularly difficult during the week. Water levels fluctuated, forcing wardens to continually adjust their sets to the changing conditions. Scents and commercial urine used for terrestrial fur bearers had to be refreshed. Withpatiencecomessuccessandonthefinaldaytherustlingofleavessignaled that the wardens had caught an animal. As they approached up a small creek they could see a raccoon that had been caught in a dog proof trap. The trap is designed to not cause any further pain to the animal, but to simply hold the animal by the leg until the trappers arrive. The privilege of becoming a trapper is one of enhancing the connection with the earth and the animals that live on it. Respecting and honoring the animal includes preparing the fur properly to obtain the best looking, quality fur. (continued from page 15) Trapping workshop vessel crossed over a suspected net. The net dragger is a huge chain link with welded spikes on it. It’s very heavy and can sink to the bottom real fast to snag or capture a net. Afterthenetdraggerhasbeendropped,ournextindicatorthatwehavehooked onto a net is when the boat reduces speed. This tells us that the net dragger has something attached to it. Once the dragger has something attached, we stop the boat and start the net puller, a generator-powered machine with block teeth that helps to pull the dragger and the net into the boat. Matt and I focused on removing decayed fish, lures, and other fishing equip- ment from the net as it came up, while Dan operated the net pulling machine. I have to admit that this was challenging for me because I was not expecting the smell to be that bad from the rotting fish. Once the net was lifted onto the vessel and brought to shore we had to dispose of the net at a local landfill. We also cleaned the boats. At the end of five days, we recovered three nets and a total of 6,000 feet of net. This was quite the experience for me. Recovering ghost nets is not an easy or clean job. However, we received lots of gratitude from the local state fishermen and Michigan DNR. That gratitude is enough to make this job rewarding and worth the effort. If you suspect or encounter a ghost net in the Ceded Territory, please call the GLIFWC Enforcement Division at (715) 682-6619 or visit www.glifwc.org/ Enforcement/enforcement.html and click on the link to Report a Ghost Net. Ghost net recovery (continued from page 15) Ogichidaa and acclaimed writer Jim Northrup died August 1, several months after publicly revealing a terminal cancer diagnosis. A United States Marine, Northrup enlisted in 1962 and fought in the Vietnam War ona13-monthtourofdutyfrom1965- 66. He ultimately returned home to the Fond du Lac reservation where he developed a writing career rooted in observational native humor and also delvedintotheexperienceofwar.His long-running column, “Fond du Lac Follies,” appeared in several native newspapers. Northrup worked at GLIFWC for a brief time more than a quarter century ago and went on to publish a string of books, story collections, and plays. He lived a four-season Anishinaabe lifestyle and worked to regain the Ojibwe language diminished by his boarding school experience as a child. Northrup’s Ojibwemowin name is Chibenashi.The head of a largefamily,NorthupleavesbehindmanyrelativesincludinghiswifePat,children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was 73. —CO Rasmussen 1. Asemaake—she/he makes a tobacco offering 2. Bagone’ige—she/he is drilling 3. Ozhiga’ige—she/he is tapping a tree 4. Agoojige—she/he is hanging something 5. Naadoobii—she/he is hauling something 6. Ziiginige—she/he pours something 7. Iskigamizige—she/he is boiling sap 8. Nase’ige—she/he stirs to granulate sugar Aaniin eni-izhichigeng iskigamizigeng? (answers from page 11) fire, but because of the proliferation of cabins and houses across the northwoods, forestfiresarequicklyputout.Inrecentdecadesthetimberindustryhasfocusedon producing stands of fast-growing aspen (popple) for fiber, which quickly overtops its competitors after clearcutting because it readily sprouts from the roots. Finally, hotter, dryer summers can stress wiigwaasaatigoog, weakening them and leading to “birch decline” and premature death. Like most plants at or near the southern edge of their range, wiigwaasaatig is at serious risk from the warming climate. Inthelastseveralyearsanewthreattowiigwaasaatighasemerged.Harvesters are cutting large numbers of young trees, branches and even mature wiigwaas- aatig to supply twigs, branches, poles and small logs to the craft and decoration industry. These materials are turned into wreaths, planters, log bundles and other decorationsandsoldacrossNorthAmerica.Theyaremarketedtohomeownersand businesses, even showing up in such places as restaurants and hotel lobbies.As the demand and the monetary incentive for these products ramps up, wiigwaasaatig is at serious risk of being over-harvested. In response to this escalating and increasingly unsustainable harvest, the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Governing Board issued an emergency closure order (posted at www.lco-nsn.gov/public-notices.php) to prohibit the harvest of these products on reservation lands. Soon to follow were closures on the Bad River and Red Cliff reservations as tribes become increasingly concerned about preserving wiigwaasaatigpopulationsforfuturegenerations.GLIFWCandUSForestService enforcement officers are stepping up monitoring of off-reservation harvesting of these materials, to ensure all harvesters (tribal and non-tribal) are complying with regulations. Illegally harvested materials are confiscated and placed out for bid or sale by the Forest Service, or in some cases, gifted to GLIFWC to be used as educational material in tribal youth outreach camps. There’s an old saying that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Harvesters are simply trying to make some needed cash. They and the people buying these decorations—from “snow birds” wanting a taste of the northwoods to business owners looking for rustic decorations for their lobby—may not real- ize that this trade is taking an increasingly heavy toll on already-declining birch populations. Tribal members and non-members alike are increasingly concerned about the heavy harvest of young wiigwaasaatig, and what this means for the future.Wiigwaasaatig is struggling to survive in a landscape that’s becoming more and more hostile towards this sacred tree. Widespread, heavy harvest of young trees could be the straw that eventually breaks the back of the Ceded Territory’s wiigwaasaatig population. —GLIFWC Forest Ecologist Alex Wrobel contributed to this report Tree of life (continued from page 1) This hoop house of a major northwoods buyer is stuffed with wiigwaasaatig twigs and branches. April 2016. (Steve Garske photo) Ivy Vainio photo PAGE 21 MAZINA’IGAN WINTER 2016-17