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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Manoomin (wild rice) battle by GLRC Environment Report

The GLRC's Sandy Hausman reports on a dispute between a Native American tribe and local communities. She writes:
For hundreds of years, wild rice was a staple of the tribe's diet, but starting in the 1930s, private construction of hydroelectric dams pushed water levels in rice growing areas up. High water killed most of the plants and took a toll on wildlife. Bob Evans is a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service. He says fish, bird and insect populations dropped dramatically:

"Black tern is a declining, threatened species that is known to use wild rice beds, Trumpeter swans. They're a big user of rice beds. Um, just a whole lot of plants and animals. It's really a whole ecosystem in itself."
According to a recent press release:
Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have significant populations of wild rice, or manoomin, as
the Ojibwe Indians call it. Wild rice populations, however, have declined throughout much of the plant's native range due in large part to human impacts. In an effort to share information and ultimately restore rice populations, a regional wild rice restoration and preservation conference will be held August 7th-10th at the Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino in Watersmeet, Michigan.
Read or listen to BATTLE OVER THE RIGHT TO GROW RICE by GLRC Environment Report
Also read Project Seeks to Re-establish Wild Rice in UP by Absolute Michigan's Andrew McFarlane
The Acton Institute's The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project offers a solution to both an environmental and a social problem

# posted by Tami @ 10:03 AM
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