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Great Lakes Article:

Reservation gets grants for wildlife study
Duluth News Tribune

Wild rice, moose, walleye and sturgeon on and around the Fond du Lac Reservation will benefit from grants announced by the federal government Tuesday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa $436,576 for four projects.

"This is great," said Fond du Lac Division of Resource Management director Ferdinand Martineau. "This is going to benefit everybody in the area, not just the tribal people."

Nationwide, the USFWS awarded 79 grants totaling $14 million under two grant programs.

The largest grant Fond du Lac received was for $200,000 to help its wild rice restoration efforts.

The grant was the largest available under the Tribal Landowner Incentive Program and requires at least a 25 percent match.

Fond du Lac has worked to restore wild rice on reservation lakes for 20 years, Martineau said.

"It's maintenance money for what we've been doing," he said of the grant. "Fond du Lac Reservation has been putting in at least that amount of money every year. This will take the pressure off our tribal government for a couple years."

The band also received $133,150 to study the dynamics of moose populations and census techniques; $60,920 to study fishing pressures on certain walleye populations; and $42,506 to study the sturgeon population in the upper St. Louis River.

Nationwide, the 79 grants awarded will help 60 American Indian tribes conserve or restore endangered, threatened and at-risk species and other wildlife on tribal lands.

Other tribes in Minnesota and Wisconsin receiving grants included:

The Grand Portage Band of Chippewa received $104,025 to continue assessment and rehabilitation of native, at-risk fish in Lake Superior and its tributaries and $84,911 to help restore wetlands and wild rice on tribal lands.

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe received $209,708 for wildlife habitat assessment and $133,858 for habitat improvement projects.

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa received $247,007 to help preserve, improve and evaluate wildlife habitat.

The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa received $249,800 to help develop its fisheries programs and conduct surveys on lakes and streams.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa received $147,784 to help restore the Raymond "Snooty" Couture Fish Hatchery and rearing ponds.

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