Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians: Ziibimijwang Farm

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Planning

Staff members from the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Natural Resources Department completed the Adaptation Workbook in September 2016. They will continue to refine these ideas and consider how these ideas could apply to other forested properties across the LTBB Reservation. 

Staff members from the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Natural Resources Department completed the Adaptation Workbook in September 2016 to assess adaptation options on a tribal-owned property in northern Michigan.

Project Area

The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians (LTBB) is centered on a reservation in far northern Michigan, occupying the western half of Emmet County and portions of a few islands in Lake Michigan. The LTBB reservation was established as part of an 1836 Treaty, which also established the rights of tribal members to hunt, fish, and gather across a large "ceded territory" in Michigan's eastern Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. Today, LTBB owns scattered parcels of land across the reservation. Much of the tribe's natural resources management has historically focused on monitoring and managing fish populations and key game species across the ceded territory and within the Great Lakes. For this project, LTBB staff focused on a 300-acre property directly owned by the tribe, which was acquired in part to generate locally-grown food for tribal members and the surrounding areas. About 200 acres of the property is forested and managed by the Natural Resources Department, consisting of a mix of upland and lowland forests, streams, and wetlands.

Management Goals

LTBB Natural Resources Department logo

Management goals for the forested portion of the Ziibimijwang property include maintaining and improving cultural values (including sugar bush), maintaining and improving wildlife value, and improving forest health. Some of the more specific management objectives are:

  • protect key tree species including ash, beech, maple, basswood, birch, and cedar 
  • increase old growth characteristics and wildlife value of mature upland forests through girdling and non-harvest practices
  • designate wildlife refuge areas to be excluded from active forest management

Climate Change Impacts

Deer browse line on a cedar stand at the Ziib farm. Photo credit: Noah Jansen, LTBB
For this project, the most important anticipated climate change impacts include:
reduced soil moisture in the summer
damage from forest pests and diseases, particularly EAB, beech bark disease, and hemlock wooly adelgid
more difficult access for logging equipment with reduced snowpack
milder winters may boost the local deer population, increasing browse pressure on cedar and other preferred species

Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change will present challenges and opportunities for accomplishing the management objectives of this project, including:

Challenges

Sap production may be less predictable due to changing springtime conditions
Future climate conditions may be too hot and dry to support cedar

Opportunities

Other climate-adapted species may be suitable to help achieve particular resource goals (red maple, boxelder, etc.)

Adaptation Actions

Project participants used the Adaptation Workbook to develop several adaptation actions for this project, including:

Area/TopicApproachTactics
Cedar management
2.3. Manage herbivory to promote regeneration of desired species.
5.1. Promote diverse age classes.
Install deer exclosures to promote cedar regeneration
4.2. Prioritize and maintain sensitive or at-risk species or communities.
Identify and maintain current cedar cover
8.1. Use seeds, germplasm, and other genetic material from across a greater geographic range.
Import seed stock from cedar populations in southern Michigan

Monitoring

Project participants identified several monitoring items that could help inform future management, including:
Deer browse levels on cedar and other plants
Survival and growth of planted seedlings, particularly from southern seed sources
Regeneration of cedar within and outside exclosures
Human harvest rate of cedar

Project Photos

Click to enlarge photos

Deer browse line on a cedar stand at the Ziib farm. Photo credit: Noah Jansen, LTBB
Deer browse line on a cedar stand at the Ziib farm. Photo credit: Noah Jansen, LTBB

Next Steps

LTBB staff will continue to refine plans to maintain and enhance the cedar on the Ziibimijwang Farm over the next year.

Learn More

To learn more about this project, contact Stephen

Keywords

Lowland/ wetland conifers, Lowland/ bottomland hardwoods, Upland conifers, Upland hardwoods

Last Updated

Thursday, October 27, 2016