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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Reducing Negative Cultural Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer: Saving Black Ash Wood for Native American Basketmakers

Tom and Tina Tossing a Log in the River. Therese Poland, Forest ServiceSnapshot : Black ash has great cultural and economic importance in the northeastern United States, especially for Native Americans. The widespread destruction and removal of black ash in response to an emerald ash borer (EAB) find is a painful prospect for tribes and basket-makers. An innovative collaboration between a Forest Service geographer and entomologist combining traditional knowledge with scientific expertise has found that a traditional practice offers a reasonable solution for those who depend on black ash splints.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Therese M. PolandMarla Emery
Research Location : northeastern and midwestern U.S.
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 316

Summary

Black ash has great cultural and economic importance in the northeastern and midwestern United States, especially for Native Americans. Widespread destruction and removal of black ash following the discovery of an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation site is a painful prospect for tribes and basket-makers. Historically, black ash has sometimes been submerged for later use in basketmaking. In a recently completed study, a Forest Service entomologist working with a Forest Service geographer demonstrated that sinking black ash logs in running water for two to three months in the spring kills emerald ash borer larvae and preserves the wood qualities necessary for basketmaking. The scientists worked with a family of basketmakers from the Gun Lake Tribe throughout the research. Additional studies will evaluate submersion during winter months and the impacts of longer term under-water storage on basket-splint quality and color.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Ed Pigeon, Angie Pigeon, and Monte Davis, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi (Gun Lake Tribe), Michigan

Research Topics

Priority Areas

  • Invasive Species
  •