Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment


Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment

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This report summarizes several environmental initiatives and climate change adaptation strategies including wind, community gardens, moose collaring, introduction of bison, etc. Some points are relevant to water resources and are extracted below: Summary: "The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians resides in the northeast corner of Minnesota along Lake Superior. The dynamic environs of the region host a wide array of birds, fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Unprecedented warming of Lake Superior in recent years suggests that climate change is taking effect around Grand Portage and is threatening local wildlife species. One of the Grand Portage Band’s major concerns is that climate change may lead to the loss of culturally significant subsistence species including moose and brook trout in the Lake Superior region. The tribe hopes that by investing in mitigation projects it can accomplish environmental and natural resources goals, achieve energy and food independence, contribute to carbon solutions, and reduce expenses to community members. In addition to existing mitigation projects and initiatives, the tribe is currently developing a comprehensive climate change adaptation and mitigation plan for tribal lands and resources. The plan addresses water quality, air quality, sustainable forestry, adaptation to shifts in fisheries and wildlife, sustainable food ventures, alternative energy development, and energy conservation programs. "Fisheries: To adapt to climate change, the tribe has shifted management of a 61-acre inland lake from a cold water (brook trout) fishery to a cool water fishery (yellow perch and walleye) through fish propagation and stocking. This occurred because warming temperatures in the lake reached critical lethal levels for brook trout causing complete collapse of the population. The Grand Portage Natural Resources Department adapted to the fishery collapse by choosing to develop a cool water fishery using yellow perch and walleye. The Grand Portage Native Fish Hatchery is now using re-circulating water systems to achieve the water temperatures needed for rearing cool water native fish species like walleye and lake sturgeon, in addition to rearing cold water brook trout for Lake Superior. This allows for better utilization and flexibility of the hatchery and stocking operations, while also providing higher growth rates for fish. The Grand Portage Band is also revising legacy contaminant (mercury) concentrations in fish tissue for consumption advisories for the Grand Portage Community. "Invasive Species Management: Aquatic invasive species (AIS) assessments for plants, fish, and invertebrates have been planned for water bodies in Grand Portage. The additional AIS surveys have stemmed from the climate change adaptation plan which noted that warmer water temperatures may increase or aid dispersal of AIS."


Grand Portage (MN): Grand Portage Band of Chippewa.

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Grand Portage Bank of Lake Superior Chippewa. (2012). Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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