Bois Forte Forestry manages forested tribal and allotment lands within the boundary of the reservation. The difference between tribal lands and allotment lands is that the allotment lands have heirs that own the resources on them. Some of the management activities we do are:
Forest Stand Development
We often do activities to help certain tree species regenerate after a timber harvest or other disturbance. This ensures a healthy forest for the Bois Forte people and a reliable supply of forest resources. This can be soil scarification to improve pine regeneration, aerial seeding of a certain species, or brush removal to help tree seedlings compete with bush stump sprouts.
Forests of Bois Forte
Bois Forte is home to many species of trees that make up the forests on the Reservation. There are many factors that determine what trees will occupy a site, but the four largest factors are climate, disturbance, moisture, and fertility.
Disturbances can affect plant life in a variety of ways, but one thing disturbances do is damage species present at the site. The effect of a disturbance on tree species is mostly related to whether it compacts soil, loosens soil, or does neither.
In the yard, a disturbance that would loosen soil may be tilling or raking for a garden. A disturbance that compacts soil maybe driving a truck over the site. Some disturbances, such as lawn mowing, do not compact or loosen the soil. In the forest, roads can also compact soil. Fire can loosen soil by burning more compactable organic matter, and a disturbance such as a winter timber harvest usually will not compact or loosen the soil. Compact soil is more prone to ponding because water does not drain from it rapidly, while loose soil drains rapidly and rarely has standing water. Some tree species regenerate better after certain disturbances because they prefer soil to be loose or compact, but some tree species do not care. The process of plants colonizing a site after a disturbance is called Succession. Species that enter a site rapidly after disturbance are called pioneer species. Species that enter a site gradually in the absence of disturbances are called late-successional species.
Forest Inventory / Mapping
Figuring out what forests are present is essential to managing them. We have state of the art inventory equipment and established protocols for collecting and analyzing forest inventory data. We also create maps from this data that are displayed in the forestry building.
We monitor for forests pests and invasive species in cooperation with APHIS. This includes setting and maintaining emerald ash borer traps, managing species like gypsy moth, and looking for presence of species such as garlic mustard or Asian Long Horned beetle.
To learn about invasive plant species, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/index.html
To learn about invasive animals, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/index.html
Timber Harvest Management
We administer timber sales on tribal and allotment land. Although much of the land on the reservation is not tribal or allotment, on tribal and allotment land we schedule timber sales that provide financial benefits to the tribal government and allottees, and to improve the health of the forests. Timber harvests also can reduce fire fuel loads which improves the safety of the Nett Lake area. We administer timber sales so that loggers harvest in a desirable and sustainable manner. Logging also provides jobs for some band members, and in some cases improves wildlife habitat.
Wildlife Habitat Management
Several of the activities we do improve habitat for wildlife; in some areas, this means leaving cedar areas as winter deer yards, while in others it means creating edge habitat to increase the food supply for game species.
We do several activities to prevent destructive fires from occurring at Nett Lake. Some of the actions that we do to control fires are:
We remove brush around residential areas so that if a fire does start, losses will be minimal. Flammable brush such as balsam fir or young jack pine is sometimes considered more of a risk around residential areas than deciduous brush. Fuel reduction also includes cutting fire breaks to stop forest fires.
We are present at many events to raise awareness so that residents are careful not to let fires get out of control. We also issue burn permits, as controlled, prescribed fires are an efficient way to reduce fuels.
In the event that a fire escapes control, we have equipment to directly suppress fire. We have several vehicles capable of carrying hundreds of gallons of water even to off-road sites, fully equipped with pressurized hoses to drench a fire with water and foam. We have a water storage tank that enables quick refilling, and we also have tools such as pulaskies and fire rakes to suppress fires in the event that water is not available. We staff based on fire weather to act as responders. To view fire weather, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/wildfirereports_tools.html
Bois Forte Forestry
2364 Indian Service Road 9
Nett Lake, MN 55772
Forestry Program Manager
Forestry Technician & Wild Land Firefighter
Forestry Technician & Wild Land Firefighter
Forestry Fire Aide