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Mechanical Harvester Helping to Reestablish Wild Rice on the St. Louis River
Tom Howes explained in Anishinaabe, then in English, why restoring wild rice to the St. Louis River is so important to the Fond du Lac people.
It’s here, along the 26-mile estuary upstream of Lake Superior, that his ancestors settled after a long journey from the east. They chose the river because of the plentiful food — especially manoomin, wild rice, which they believe is a gift from the creator who led them here.

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is playing a key role in the first major wild rice restoration project now underway on the St. Louis River estuary. Work began in recent weeks to clear the way for wild rice to make a comeback on the estuary, with a giant weed-harvesting machine chewing away at lily pads, coontail, reeds, sedges and other plants that have filled in where rice once thrived.



 
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One of the Curses of Lake Management - Eurasian Milfoil - Supervisor Dennis Faber, who also is a commissioner of the Camp/Center Lakes Rehabilitation District, said conventional wisdom going into this spring and summer was that the heavy snowfall of this year — including on frozen lakes — would mean less milfoil on local lakes. The actual experience, at least on Camp and Center lakes, was the opposite.


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