From Clipboard to Drone: Monitoring Wild "River" Rice by Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

Wild Rice is an important cultural and food source plant for all Great Lakes Anishinabek peoples. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP), located in south-western Michigan, is steward to small and large beds of Zizania aquatica var. aquatica, (Wild “River” Rice), a State of Michigan Threatened Species. With a small (but growing) land base, NHBP is committed to protection, preservation, return of rice to the Reservation, along with stewardship of existing stands of rice in the greater SW Michigan area. On-going monitoring efforts, initiated in 2009, have expanded the knowledge of where “river rice” is located and begun the process for sustainable return of rice resources to the riverine portions of the Pine Creek Reservation. Documentation of where Z. aquatica is located and at what density has been an on-going effort. Both on-the-water documentation and two forms of aerial survey documentation have been utilized in this effort. This presentation will review basic (clipboards) and cutting edge (aerial documentation) monitoring tactics of “River” rice and provide observations of their effectiveness. Mapping tools created from these efforts will be described. Establishment efforts will be reviewed.

Subject Matter Level: 
Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Stephen W. Allen
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
Stephen W. Allen has been Habitat Specialist for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi near Athens, Michigan since October 2008. Natural features monitoring, invasive species control, and habitat restoration on tribal lands are his responsibility. Restoration of a vigorous Wild Rice population, supported by various grants, is also a focus. He is also President of Geum Services Inc. GSI provides environmental consultation, site evaluation, biological inventory & monitoring and open-space verification on low-impact developments. Cliental ranges from large corporations and golf courses to lake associations and private homeowners. He has a Biology degree from Western Michigan University and has lived in SW Michigan for over 35 years.
Other presenters/researchers: 
Boetcher, Amy; Kerney, Eric; Rodwan, John