Forest Chief Praises Menominee Foresters

Feb 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 16-3: Indigenizing Education, Tribal College News

U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth visited the College of Menominee Nation in November to continue planning the National Center for First Americans Forestlands, which will be located at the college in Keshena, WI. The Menominee Tribe is known nationwide for its success in sustainable forestry. Bosworth is the top executive of the Department of Agriculture agency responsible for managing the nation’s federally-owned forests.

CMN President Dr. Verna Fowler expects the center to open in three to four years; it will be the first of its kind in the United States. It will promote stewardship of national forests not only on the Menominee Reservation but also throughout the country.

“To me, the long-term hope of this partnership is that we can share knowledge with the Menominee, that we can learn from the many, many years of tribal knowledge that they have about managing forests,” Bosworth said, according to an article in the Shawano Leader.

“I hope that we can find ways to make those connections with other tribes that have forests that they manage and maybe find ways to help them and learn from their knowledge,” he said.

The forest center grew out of a shared desire by the Forest Service and the Menominee Nation to promote sustainable forestry on public and private forests, according to Dr. Holly YoungBear-Tibbetts, director of the Sustainable Development Institute at the college.

The center will conduct research, such as more ways to convert wood into value-added products that will improve the local economy. It will also provide extension services and develop a skilled workforce related to sustainable forestry.

It will focus on Native American forestlands. Nationwide, 44 American Indian tribes own more than 16 million acres of forestland.

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