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Wild Rice Strategic Analysis

Wild rice helps maintain water quality and provides food and habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. Harvested by hand from canoes, wild rice is also an important part of Wisconsin's cultural heritage, and is particularly important to Native American tribes. For more information on harvesting wild rice, see Wild Rice Harvesting.

In September 2021, the DNR completed a multi-year Strategic Analysis of Wild Rice Management in Wisconsin. The Final Strategic Analysis Report provides information on wild rice conditions and trends, existing authorities and management practices, and alternative management approaches. This information will be used to develop a Statewide Wild Rice Management Plan.

Strategic Analysis Process

Wild rice management involves a wide range of environmental, cultural and socioeconomic considerations. The DNR chose to follow the strategic analysis process established in section NR 150.10, Wis. Adm. Code to evaluate these with input from the public, tribal governments and other stakeholders, using the best available information.

A strategic analysis does not establish DNR policy or change existing rules. Rather, strategic analyses are intended to inform decision-makers and the public about a natural resource issue, including alternative courses of action and the anticipated effects of those alternatives.

Public and Tribal Input

The DNR conducted public scoping for the strategic analysis during the summer of 2016. The DNR received 20 scoping comments from members of the public. Additionally, the DNR received comments from the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Voigt Intertribal Task Force of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission:

In 2020, the DNR shared a preliminary draft of the strategic analysis report with each of the tribal governments in Wisconsin, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Voigt Task Force, the Wild Rice Advisory Committee and the State/Tribal Joint Wild Rice Committee. The DNR received numerous tribal comments and suggestions, which were used to update the draft strategic analysis report in advance of its release for public review.

The DNR invited the public to review and provide comments on the draft strategic analysis report from April 14, 2021 to June 7, 2021. We received public comments from 15 individuals and organizations, as well as the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. A summary of the comments received, along with the department’s responses, can be found in the Response to Public Comments document.

Strategic Analysis Final Report

Strategic Analysis of Wild Rice Management in Wisconsin (Final Report, including Appendices)

Strategic Analysis of Wild Rice Management in Wisconsin (Final Report, not including Appendices)

Strategic Analysis Process Steps

The strategic analysis (SA) followed these general steps:

  1. Public Scoping
  2. Information Gathering & Analysis
  3. Preparation of a Preliminary Draft SA Report
  4. Tribal Review of the Preliminary Draft SA
  5. Completion of the Draft SA Report
  6. Public Review of the Draft SA Report
  7. Summary and Response to Public Comments on the Draft SA Report
  8. Publication of the Final SA Report