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Sustainable Development Institute Completes Installation of Forest Monitoring Plots


Over the past two years, eight students and two crew leaders worked under the guidance of the Director of the Center for First Americans Forestlands and with the support of scientists from UW Green Bay and the Smithsonian Institute to delineate, survey, and census three – one hectare climate change forest monitoring plots. One plot located on the East side of the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) Keshena campus is considered a training plot. The other two plots are located in the northern region of the Menominee Indian Reservation, and are considered long-term forest monitoring plots. The plots can be used for a variety of activities ranging from casual discussions, to structured "outdoor" classroom tasks, to advanced research which includes monitoring various ecological aspects of the forest to measure the impacts of climate change. The training plot at CMN is part of a larger outdoor learning exhibit termed "The Learning Path," which extends for about a half mile along the East side of the Keshena campus. The plots were installed using an advanced tree census protocol developed by Dr. Richard Condit.


The installation of these plots was funded partially through the financial and technical assistance of the Smithsonian Institute. The plot work is a component of a larger three-year project funded primarily through a USDA–NIFA Tribal Research Grant Program titled, "Measuring the Pulse of the Forest." The NIFA project essentially has two primary components; Forest-based ecological data collection (Plot Installation), and cultural assessment of the forest resource related to climate change. Chris Caldwell, Director, SDI, has been the principle investigator of the cultural piece of this project, working in conjunction with Michigan St. University and other project partners to build capacity in this context. Dean Fellman, Director, Center for First Americans Forestlands, has been working with the Smithsonian Institution and other partners to build research capacity through the plot installation. The report available here is focused on the forest plot work, and was issued as both a courtesy and condition of the assistance Smithsonian provided. Read the report