Environment

USDA Blog: A historic partnership with Leech Lake Band





The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota has a national forest within its reservation:
Establishing trust and building relationships are key factors in working with Indian Tribes across the country. One of the most historic partnerships between the U.S. Forest Service and an Indian Tribe has been forged between the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the Chippewa National Forest.

“This [partnership] essentially took more than 100 years to craft,” said Fred Clark, director of Office Tribal Relations for the Forest Service. “It allows the Forest Service and the Tribe to move toward a positive future, while not forgetting the history that brought us all this far.”

The Chippewa National Forest and the Tribe have worked together on road maintenance, non-native species control, fuels treatments, tree planting and prescribed fire support since 2010.

By blending western science with the traditional knowledge of American Indians and Alaska Natives, the Forest Service is building relationships and creating a sustainable environment for tribal members and non-Native Americans for present and future generations.

The partnership pledges to work together in many areas, including hiring tribal members, contracting with the Tribe, technology transfer, training and more.

Get the Story:
Deidra L. McGee: Forest Service Celebrates Working Side-by-Side with Indian Tribes (USDA Blog 1/14)