Hannahville Indian Community Forestland Acquisition and Forest-based Business Planning Initiative (2012)

Client Organization: 
Hannahville Indian Community
Project Location : 
Hannahville Indian Community, Wilson, Michigan (near Escanaba in the central Upper Peninsula)
Summary of Project Idea: 

This project aims to assist Hannahville's tribal government by exploring the process of obtaining forestland that may produce supplemental income and other social benefits for the tribe.  The master's project objectives were to identify the qualities of income-producing forestland in the Upper Peninsula, develop an example of a way to search for these real estate assets remotely, and produce profiles of business opportunities that can occur on said lands with discussions of relative benefits.  In the master's project product, an example of a method by which to remotely identify land worth pursuing is given, and which includes maps and descriptions of the applicable areas.  Since logging had been singled out as a possible interest in new land, the master's project team included descriptions of the character of forestry operations and an introduction to timber sales and forest management.  Other land use opportunities are also described, such as for recreation, sporting, and biomass generation, as applies to the forested areas within a limited distance of the Hannahville Indian Reservation.

Skills/Expertise Needed: 

Land and conservation planning; GIS-based model development and implementation; forest industries and natural resource economics; business planning and market assessment; interpersonal and cross-cultural communication.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Environmental Policy and Planning
Environmental Justice
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

Direct experience working with tribes; land and resource planning; complex problem solving; interdisciplinary project linking ecology, economics and geospatial analysis; publication potential in disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals.

Funding Sources: 

Potential support available through the Tribe to support travel and research supplies.

Identify expected products/deliverables: 

An integrated land acquisition and business plan.

Ann Arbor
State or Country: 
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Nick Reo and Bob Grese
Contact e-mail: 
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Ben Johnson, MS/ MPP, Environmental Policy and Planning/ Environmental Justice
  • Austin Barr, MS, Environmental Justice
  • Peter Grella, MS, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Aby Hyduke, MS, Conservation Biology
  • Lauren Maloney, MS, Conservation Biology
  • Marie Beaudoin, MS, Conservation Biology
Project Status: 
Past Project