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Wild rice management strategic analysis

Wild rice is located throughout Wisconsin but is more prominent in the northern part of the state. It is an important food source to waterfowl and many of Wisconsin’s wildlife species. High biological diversity and numerous benefits that extend throughout the food chain are also associated with wild rice beds.

Wild rice is a culturally important plant that serves as an essential food source to people and wildlife. Wisconsin’s Native American tribes have a special and deep connection to wild rice. To nontribal residents of Wisconsin, interest in harvesting wild rice continues to grow along with recognition of the plant's importance to many of Wisconsin’s wildlife species.

Public input

Between June 14 and July 18, 2016 the department invited members of the public to comment on the scope of topics to be analyzed in this strategic analysis. The 19 comments we received indicated statewide interest in wild rice management and identified a wide variety of issues. Contact information of private individuals has been redacted in the comments for privacy reasons. All comments received will be considered in the strategic analysis. Thanks to everyone who commented!

The department also received letters from the Voigt Intertribal Task Force of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and from the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. These letters express concern that the strategic analysis process would include recommendations and act to set a specific direction for the development of a statewide wild rice management plan without appropriate consultation. The analysis will organize factual information in a format that can be used in the future by the public and decision makers. The important topic of state consultation with the tribes will be described in the analysis. The strategic analysis will not recommend any policy direction.

The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the analysis when it's been prepared. Announcements will be made on this web page for public review opportunities at the appropriate time.

Strategic analysis process

The management of wild rice involves a diverse range of issues. To fully assess the latest scientific, natural resource, cultural and socioeconomic information relating to the management of wild rice, the department chose to utilize the strategic analysis process outlined in Chapter NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code.

The strategic analysis will objectively describe the diverse range of issues involved with protecting and encouraging the growth of wild rice along with clearly laying out similarities and discrepancies in the methods that can be used for best management practices. Once completed, the strategic analysis process will provide information that will help set the stage for developing an effective and comprehensive statewide wild rice management plan.

Strategic analysis process steps.

A strategic analysis evaluates factual information to inform policies and approaches for contentious resource issues. The purpose of the analysis is to inform future discussions and decisions.

Strategic analysis follows these general steps:

  1. Public announcement and scoping - defining the topics and information sources to be considered and the analytical methods to be employed. This step includes public input and consultation with other agencies and Tribal authorities.
  2. Information gathering and analysis.
  3. Document preparation. < we are here
  4. Public review - at least 45 days will be allotted for public review of the analysis and a hearing may be held.
  5. Comment response - the department will consider all comments received and may revise the analysis if warranted.
  6. The final version of the analysis document and all comments and supporting information will be made available to the public.
Contact information
For more information about this strategic analysis, please contact:

Jon Simonsen
Environmental Review Specialist
Environmental Analysis and Sustainability Program