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Announcing the "How to" of Wild Rice Monitoring

Photo: Wild Rice Monitoring Handbook and Field Guide

In preparation for this year's wild rice harvest, the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program is pleased to offer the Wild Rice Monitoring Field Guide and the Wild Rice Monitoring Handbook. These publications provide resource managers with the methods and rationale to estimate annual wild rice biomass, density, and productivity. Both are available on the Minnesota Sea Grant website as downloadable PDFs at www.seagrant.umn.edu/coastal_communities/wildrice. The Wild Rice Monitoring Field Guide is also available as waterproof, spiral-bound manual for $2.50.

"The methods for estimating productivity apply to wild rice across its entire range," said Tonya Kjerland, the publications' author. Kjerland compiled the information for these wild rice monitoring guides as part of her graduate work in Water Resources Science at the University of Minnesota. "Natural resource managers were looking for a standardized, scientifically defensible method for quantifying wild rice abundance and distribution. These publications will help them and their field crews to track wild rice productivity cycles and environment changes with more rigor."

Last week, Minnesota Sea Grant sent 80 copies of the Wild Rice Monitoring Field Guide to resource professionals throughout the Lake Superior basin as a tool to help manage wild rice populations. When asked how she plans on integrating the Wild Rice Monitoring Field Guide and the Wild Rice Monitoring Handbook into her job, Nancy Schuldt, Water Project Coordinator for the Fond du Lac Environmental Program said, "These documents are important in standardizing what we do since wild rice monitoring requires such specific protocols. They set the benchmark not only for us at Fond du Lac but for other tribes who are just beginning to monitor their populations. We are also hopeful that the protocols will extend beyond the tribal approach."

The methods described in the Wild Rice Monitoring Handbook and Field Guide were designed to respect Native American, First Nation and like minded people's views on the sacred nature of wild rice while providing valuable knowledge to anyone managing wild rice crops. Support for these publications came from The University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program, the 1854 Treaty Authority, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and the University of Minnesota.

Posted on August 24, 2015


This page last modified on August 24, 2015     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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