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PHENOLOGY By Dylan Jennings Staff Writer and Travis Bartnick GLIFWC Climate Ecologist Clam Lake Wis.On a beautiful early fall day a gathering took place at a recently established GLIFWC phenology study site in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Community members from Mille Lacs Lac Courte Oreilles and Bad River along with GLIFWC and US Forest Service staff came together to hold a ceremony at the Brunsweiler River and Mineral Lake Research Natural Area a few miles west of Mellen Wisconsin. Together the participants walked through the northern hardwood forest and sat down in a small opening among the sugar maple basswood and oak trees. Many of the trees were starting to show the first signs of fall displaying various shades of green with hints of yellows and oranges throughout the forest canopy. The ceremony was held to petition the spirits and acknowledge the tree and plant beings that will be monitored over the next few years as part of GLIFWCs new phenology project. The intent was to let the spirits in the area know the pur- pose and intentions of the upcoming research project. Those who gathered offered asemaa tobacco at the site. Anishinaabeg use tobacco as a median of prayer acknowledging the rocks plants animals and everything in creation. The circle was created smudged and brought to balance as the participants settled into their spots.Asemaa was passed and a moment of silence allowed every- one to put good thoughts and energies into the tobacco. A prayer in Ojibwemowin was offered and a small dish of food was also offered to the spirits that watch over the area. Recognizing this relationship as one of reciprocity in the Anishinaabe lifeway its crucial to make these offerings. Its important to remember that human beings are dependent on these other three orders of creation for survival. Next the tobacco was collected and opwaaganag pipes were loaded and passed. The smoke carried up the same positive thoughts and energies. Once the last pipe had been smoked participants shared their thoughts and stories about the importance of respecting the earth. Furthermore they asked for permission to learn from the forest and for the project to be conducted in a safe and successful manner. The stories shared by tribal members conveyed a deep understanding of the relationshipbetweenalllivingthingsandthesurroundingenvironment.ThisTradi- tionalEcologicalKnowledgeTEKhasbeenrecognizedasanimportantcomponent in helping organizations like GLIFWC implement sound management practices and promote the sustainable use of resources throughout the Ceded Territories. The ceremony included a feast which included venison maple syrup blue- berries and wild rice. The beat of the deweigan drum sounded throughout the forest as a few appropriate songs were rendered for the occasion. GLIFWC is actively maintaining culturally important traditions by weaving TEK and a science-based approach to monitor the impacts of climate change on treaty-harvested resources. Participants recognized how every time we set foot in the forest we are rekindling the relationship that exists between humans and everything in creation. Ceremonies like this help us acknowledge the role that Anishinaabeg maintain as they relate back to the aadizookaanag sacred legends. GLIFWC looks at climate change impacts on treaty resources Our world is responding to climate change in ways that are not completely understood. But one compelling indicator of how changes in climate can impact plants and animals is phenology. Phenology is the study of the timing of biological events in the life cycle of an organism. What day did the sap from the aninaatig sugar maple start running this year When did the first zhigaagawanzhiig wild leeks emerge from the ground What day was the manoomin wild rice ready for harvest Each biological event in an organisms life cycleflowers budding seeds dispersing leaves droppingis known as a phenophase. Local and regional envi- ronmental factors such as temperature precipitation and number of frost-free days can cause the timing of phenophases to vary from year to year. Some species are more susceptible to environmental changes than others. Phenology How evidence of shifting seasons can inform climate change study Over generations Anishinaabeg gatherers have developed an awareness of patterns and cues associated with these seasonal changes. As a matter of survival they needed to know when resources were becoming ready for harvest. Traditional stories illustrate how certain events in the natural world marked the start or ending of other events such as how the arrival of waawaatesi fireflies signaled the time to begin hunting waawaashkeshi deer. The timing of these events is important and some of these relationships are falling out of sync as the climate changes. Long-term evidence has shown the timing of some biological events shifting around the world. The earlier arrival of spring warmth is an example of one such shift. To help understand the effects of changes in climate on the timing of bio- logical events consider what might happen if the fur of the waabooz snowshoe hare turns white before the snows arrive or remains white long after the snow has gone. How will this phenological mismatch affect waabooz survival when its coat no longer camouflages it from predators Will the waabooz be able to adapt the timing of its seasonal color change to later first snows and earlier spring melt Assessing how shifts in the timing of seasonal changes will affect treaty resources At GLIFWC climate change program staff is learning how climate change may affect treaty resources by studying the phenology of traditionally harvested plants. To this end GLIFWC climate staff Travis Bartnick and Hannah Panci will monitor various phenological characteristics of several plants within the 1837 and By Kim Stone Policy AnalystClimate Change Pro. Coord. Kekek Jason Stark Lac Courte Oreilles legal director and Niibagiishik Russ Denomie Bad River tribal member prepare their opwaaganag pipes for the ceremony. The ceremony was offered up in a good way to begin a multi-year phenology study near Clam Lake Wisconsin. photo by Dylan Jennings The phenology study began with a ceremony to acknowledge one of the areas of study. GLIFWC staff US Forest Service staff and various tribal members gathered at the site near Clam Lake Wisconsin to offer their respects to the environment. Pictured in front left to right Steve Garske Dawn White Larry Heady Jon Gilbert and Hannah Panci. Back row from the left Sean Fahrlander Russ Denomie Tom Doolittle Kekek Jason Stark Neil Kmiecik Travis Bartnick. photo by Dylan Jennings See Phenology page 19 PAGE 7 MAZINAIGANWINTER 2015-16 Ceremony introduces phenology study to forest Shows respect and asks permission