Red Lake Nation Plans to Reforest 50,000 Acres
The Red Lake Reservation was once a sea of red and white pines. But tribal officials say the federal government mismanaged the forest starting in the early 1900s. The pines were never successfully replanted, and thick stands of less valuable aspen took their place.
Now the Red Lake Nation is preparing to reforest 50,000 acres of its land in northwestern Minnesota. The Ojibwe band won a $53 million settlement from the federal government in 2001. Minnesota Public Radio reported Thursday that the tribe is using that money to grow its own pine seedlings. More than 250,000 seedlings will be planted next year, starting in the spring. The tribe’s goal is to reforest about 1,000 acres annually for the next 50 years.