“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bayfield in Bayfield County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Cultural Fire Returns to Stockton Island

Cultural Fire Returns to Stockton Island Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, June 30, 2022
1. Cultural Fire Returns to Stockton Island Marker
Inscription.  "This is the best combination of cultural heritage and land management that I can think of."
Bob Krumenaker, Superintendent

In October 2017, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, in collaboration with the Red Cliff Band, Bad River Band and other Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission member bands, conducted a prescribed burn on Stockton Island. Fire specialists from the National Park Service, U. S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs burned five acres on the northern end of Stockton Island's tombolo to reduce shrubs and hardwood trees encroaching in the pine barrens, promote the growth of blueberries and other native plants, improve wildlife habitat, and, perhaps most importantly, to reintroduce the cultural practice of burning this landscape.

TEK and a Management (R)evolution
Park ranger Damon Panek, a White Earth Ojibwe, tapped into traditional ecological knowledge, or TEK, to establish how local Ojibwe interacted with the land. "I knew native people had traditionally picked blueberries out on Stockton Island from oral stories. They maintained good picking by rotational burning.
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There are fire scars and charred stumps everywhere, which backs up everything people have said." Apostle Islands National Lakeshore superintendent Bob Krumenaker said that the pine barrens is a globally significant ecological system that is slowly disappearing without fire. "But what's really unique, what makes it so special, is that it got this way because of humans."

A Celebration
More than 60 tribal members and park staff traveled to Stockton Island on October 11, 2017 for a ceremonial feast and tour of the proposed burn area. Leon Boycee Valliere from Lac du Flambeau presided over the ceremony saying, "We're looking to do this in a good way.” Valliere explained to the island and its spirits in Ojibwemowin that the fire would help cleanse and refresh the landscape, restoring plant communities that have faded after years of fire suppression. This burn marks the beginning of a connection to the landscape that reflects a parallel between Native cultural practices and the mission of the National Park Service. With this success, the lakeshore plans to implement more burning on the Stockton Island tombolo.
Erected by National Park Service, US Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentNative Americans. A significant historical month for this entry is October 2017.
Cultural Fire Returns to Stockton Island Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, June 30, 2022
2. Cultural Fire Returns to Stockton Island Marker
46° 48.784′ N, 90° 49.218′ W. Marker is in Bayfield, Wisconsin, in Bayfield County. Located at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Headquarters. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 415 Washington Avenue, Bayfield WI 54814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bayfield Historic Waterfront (approx. 0.3 miles away); Memorial to Commercial Fishermen of Bayfield (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Booth Cooperage (approx. 0.4 miles away); Schooner Pretoria (approx. 0.4 miles away); A Turning Point in Place and Time (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mooningwaanikaaning (approx. 2.7 miles away); Early Vessels (approx. 3.1 miles away); La Pointe Indian Cemetery (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bayfield.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2022, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 5, 2022, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Apr. 14, 2024