Public Lab Research note

Sept 2022 Bioblitz Summary

by michelleiL | October 19, 2022 18:23 19 Oct 18:23 | #35483 | #35483

Filmed by River Akemann and Edited by @Bee Kakac

On September 3, 2022, at White Oak Lake in northern Minnesota, our Public Lab fellowship hosted a bioblitz to collect baseline data on local species. We used the phone app, iNaturalist, to identify and count the species present in our location. White Oak Lake is near the site of the proposed Huber Engineered Woods oriented strand board (OSB) factory which would have a 750,000 square foot footprint, destroying local wetlands and two eagle nests. Our Minnesota Land and Manoomin Protection Project does community science and data collection to get people on the land to learn about the place as well as the threats to it.

This time of the year is Manoominike-geezis or wild rice harvesting time. Jim Northrup (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior) joined our event and led a cultural teaching about preparing for wild rice harvest. Jim showed us how to find and harvest black diamond willow trees to make crutches from. Crutches are used on the poles used to push the canoe through the wild rice during harvest. Manoomin (wild rice) only grows in the Great Lakes Region and is a sacred food of the Anishinaabeg. The Huber OSB factory risks ruining 30,000 acres of wild rice lakes. The company also wants to harvest 400,000 cords of wood a year, cutting trees from within a 100-mile radius of the factory.

As a beneficiary of the 1854 Treaty, he retains his right to hunt, fish and gather within the treaty territories in perpetuity. In this video, Jim shows us how to go shopping in the woods near the proposed Huber factory site. The proposed project endangers Jim's and others' rights to the land and their cultural traditions.

Chi-miigwech/thank you to Jim Northrup for sharing your knowledge in a good way 🙂.

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