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Great Lakes Article:

Tribe using grant to improve fish hatchery

Article courtesy of the Associated Press
November 16, 2001

ASHLAND, Wis. -- The Bad River Chippewa band is using a $246,000 federal grant to help restore its fish hatchery, including installing alternative energy sources.

Savings from the solar panels and a wind turbine recently installed at the Bad River Fish Hatchery at Odanah will free up funds to improve production of walleye and sturgeon, said hatchery manager Rick Huber.

The grant, from the Administration for Native Americans in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also funded other hatchery improvements, including new water pumps and back up propane generator.

The grant is part of a three-year deal.

Next year, the tribe plans to design two new walleye rearing ponds. In 2003, the grant will contribute another $276,000 to construct those ponds.

Huber said he attended a symposium about a year ago and heard the tribe's environmental specialist talk about alternative energy.

He was working on the grant at the time and added the alternative energy request as part of the plan.

The 2.5 kilowatt wind turbine on a 184-foot tower and the 40 solar panels will not only save the hatchery money but may generate revenue, Huber said.

In northern Wisconsin, it is important to have a dual system for producing alternative energy, he said. Often, the winds are strong when the skies are cloudy, and vice versa.

This may not be the only building powered with alternative energy on the reservation in the future. Huber said the tribe is already starting to discuss using wind and solar power for two other buildings.

The Bad River Chippewa, which operate the fish hatchery, annually stock more than 15 million walleye into reservation rivers and other area lakes and streams.

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