FOREST INVASIVES REGULATORY MEETING
MARCH 19, 2015
RED CLIFF, WISCONSIN
On Thursday, March 19, 2015 a one-of-a-kind meeting was held at the Legendary Waters Resort and Casino in Red Cliff, Wisconsin. The meeting was moderated by Paul DeMain, Oneida tribal member and owner and editor of Indian Country Communications, Hayward, Wisconsin. It included presentations by two black ash gatherers and basketmakers from the Bay Mills and Sault Ste. Marie Ojibwe tribes, a Wisconsin DNR forest health specialist, a Wisconsin DNR invasive species specialist, and forest invasives regulators from USDA-Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
The meeting was attended by more than 50 people, including tribal elders, gatherers, officials and staff from 8 of the 11 GLIFWC member tribes and 4 non-member tribes, the USDA-APHIS, the US Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Wisconsin DNR and Wisconsin DATCP, the Ashland County Land and Water Conservation Department, and several GLIFWC staff.
The meeting provided an opportunity for tribal elders and gatherers, land managers, forest health specialists and others to learn about and discuss the threats posed by introduced forest insects and pathogens, and the role of tribal traditions and government regulations in slowing their spread. It ended with a lively group discussion on how to develop culturally appropriate tribal regulations that will protect ecosystems, habitats, communities and traditions in the Ojibwe ceded territories.
This meeting was funded by Environmental Regulatory Grant #90NR0280, from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration for Native Americans (ANA).
Bay Mills tribal member Sarah Bedell and Sault Ste. Marie member and Cultural Training Specialist Josh Homminga demonstrate traditional basketmaking and talk about the EAB's impact on their communities and the environment.
Wisconsin DNR Forest Health Specialist Andrea Diss-Torrance relates how a linked regulation and educational campaign has changed camper behavior and lowered the risk of spread of firewood borne invasive pests and diseases at state campgrounds in Wisconsin.
JoAnn M. Cruse, USDA-APHIS-PPQ State Plant Health Director for Wisconsin, and Brian Kuhn, Director of the Plant Industry Bureau, Wisconsin DATCP talk about the influx of invasives from overseas, the current regulatory framework, and what their respective agencies are doing to try to slow the spread of forest invasives.
Wisconsin DNR Conservation Biologist and earthworm expert Bernie Williams describes how introduced European earthworms are changing the forests, and how Asian "crazy worms" will have an even greater impact if people continue to move them to new areas.