Hannahville Indian Community Forestland Acquisition and Forest-Based Business Planning Initiative
Indian tribes are often constrained by their small community sizes, historical and political circumstances, and remote geography. The Hannahville Indian Community, located in the forested area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has a goal of expanding its land area and revenue options to combat these constraints through forestland acquisition. Because of the significant effort and capital needed to acquire land and ensure that it provides benefits to the community, tribal land acquisition requires extensive planning and thorough consideration of the costs and benefits land acquisition may provide the Tribe. The Hannahville Indian Community Forestland Acquisition Planning project is an exploration of forestland acquisition particular to Hannahville. It aims to assist the tribal government by providing information on the biological and physical resources of forests in the region and possible revenuegenerating activities associated with forestlands. References are given towards policy and social issues regarding tribal land acquisition. We give an example of a method to remotely identify land worth pursuing, which includes maps and descriptions of the applicable areas. Since commercial forestry had been singled out as a possible main interest in new land, we include descriptions of forestry and timber business operations, and a suggested method for determining the feasibility of forestry on any selection of land. Other land use opportunities are also described, such as for recreation and biomass, as applies to the forested areas within a limited distance of the Hannahville reservation.Where applicable, scenarios and recommendations accompany these subjects. We recommend that the Hannahville Indian Community pursue a strategic combination of business ventures, including forestry, biomass and recreation. The final organization of these businesses will depend highly upon the type of parcel that Hannahville acquires. In order identify parcels for acquisition we have provided Hannahville with a remote sensing methodology that can be adjusted to identify land according to tribal priorities.
Austin Barr, Marie Beaudoin, Peter Grella, Abigail Hyduke, Ben Johnson, Lauren Maloney