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Stewardship contract provides needed fuelwood to LLBO tribes

Photo: Stacks of salvaged logs piled in the snow
Salvaged hardwood from harvests on the Chippewa National Forests that will be transported to delivery sites for fuelwood. Forest Service photo.

MINNESOTA – Chippewa National Forest timber staff continues to work on providing fuelwood opportunities for Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe members. All three of the Chippewa National Forest ranger districts are utilizing stewardship contracting as a tool of restoration, while at the same time providing a critical fuelwood resource to LLBO members.

The salvaged hardwood from harvests will be transported to delivery sites for use by the local LLBO members for fuelwood. This program helps generate an important source of fuel for heating local homes of tribal members on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.

The 1855 Treaty with the Chippewa was signed with the LLBO establishing and protecting the Leech Lake Indian Reservation for the benefit of the Leech Lake people. Today, the Leech Lake Indian Reservation and the Chippewa National Forest share almost 2,000 miles of boundary. About 90% of the reservation is situated within the national forest and the reservation makes up nearly half of the national forest. This unique geographic relationship directly links the Forest with the social, economic and cultural well-being of the LLBO members.

Last year the Forest developed a contract on the Blackduck district that included the harvesting of 17 acres of hardwood and aspen blowdown. The Forest is offering two stewardship contracts in 2018 that will provide fuelwood, including the Shell stewardship contract on the Walker district and the Holland stewardship contract on the Deer River district. The Holland project includes the removal of ash through gap creation over 60 acres that will also provide benefits through the increased diversification of black ash stands.

“Stewardship contracting has been a great tool that has benefited the Forest and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, said Jim Gubbels, Deer River acting district ranger. “We look forward to working on mutually beneficial stewardship contracts in the future.”