Wild rice season is here!

Send over the tylenol and ice packs! Darn, why don’t I get in shape before this season gets here?? With the weather we were having here in northern Minnesota – many people expected the rice harvest to be later than usual. While that is true in many cases, we were surprised to find some lakes already dropping rice. There’s a lot of rice still out there – time will tell whether or not we’re able to get back out. I think the best rice is still to come!

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DNR Conservation Legacy Grant Program – Thanks Dan!

MnDNR Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program Now Accepting Applications:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Partners Legacy Grant program is now accepting applications! Projects eligible for these grants include projects that restore, enhance, or protect natural resources in Minnesota. Two types of funding cycles are available – the Traditional, which is open to projects within the seven-county metro or cities with populations over 50,000, and the Expedited Conservation Program, which is open statewide.

Visit the DNR’s website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/habitat/cpl/ou-grant-cycle.html for more information and submittal requirements.

The first funding deadline is September 11, 2013. Email Alison Harwood or call (763) 541-4800 if you are interested in learning more!


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Beginnings and endings

So, we are officially closing the non-profit organization SORA (Save Our Rice Alliance).  Running a non-profit (or barely running one) got in the way of doing wild rice education and learning from harvesters. Sad to see it go, but looking forward to more time for exploring more rice lakes! I will be posting some of the information from the site – and making new connections.


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Wild Rice Poster

Free 11×17 poster available for download on wild rice. A quick, easy read with pictures, based on the six word project. Please credit SORA, www.saveourrice.org Feedback appreciated!

Wild Rice Poster

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New Ojibwe Language web site

Please check this out at ojibwe.lib.umn.edu

Very interesting and relevant pictures, language and stories of wild rice.



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SORA Website up and running

Hi all  – thanks to some help from my host, Bluehost, SORA is back on-line. Look for updates in early April, both on the site and with the organization!

Until then, enjoy the warm weather…but wondering what it will mean to the wild rice….


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March 6, 2012–Sulfate Standard for Wild Rice Update

  • The MPCA will be holding a Tribal Consultation with Minnesota Tribes on Monday, March 12. The Tribes and the MPCA will be discussing the definition of “water used for production of wild rice,” which the MPCA is planning to clarify as part of its current effort to update Minnesota’s water quality standards.
  • Wild Rice Standards Study: The MPCA is continuing contract negotiations with selected contractor(s) who responded to the December 2011 Request for Proposal (RFP) to design and conduct scientific research and collect field data to assess the impacts of sulfate and other substances on the growth of wild rice. Once the contract(s) are executed, the MPCA will be developing work plans to get the initial work started. The work will be funded by a Clean Water Fund appropriation in the Legacy Amendment Bill that was passed during the 2011 Special Session of the Legislature.
  • The MPCA has received draft reports from researchers who conducted the preliminary field surveys of Wild Rice Waters in August-September of 2011. Please note that these are draft reports with preliminary information that will be revised before the final report due date of June 30, 2012, and the draft reports do not include all of the final results. The reports are available upon request from Edward Swain atedward.swain@state.mn.us.
  • The next meeting of the Wild Rice Standards Study Advisory Committee will be held Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 1 p.m. in Training Room 2 in the lower level of the MPCA’s St. Paul offices. Topics will include information from the MPCA on “water used for production of wild rice” and a discussion of an overall wild rice research study plan.

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Website for SORA down

Hi all –

I am sorry for the inconvenience, but the SORA website at www.saveourrice.org is temporarily down. I will try to get it back up and running shortly (week, not days).

Meanwhile, there will be a court hearing on the Wild Rice Standard, Thursday March 1 at 9:30 a.m. The case will be heard by Judge Margaret Marrinan in the Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 West Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, Minnesota 55102. For more information go to www.justchangelaw.com

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Wild rice gathering..

Thanks for the comment Jerry – I like the idea of a gathering to discuss Wild Rice. We missed doing our ‘annual’ meeting last year…so would like to get something on the ground. One location that really hasn’t received much attention from SORA yet is the Grand Rapids area. Anybody read this from that area? Send me your ideas, topics, interest and I’ll see what we can pull off for a meeting this spring. Hard to say what this year will be like. Drought is looking likely in most of the state…better for the wild rice? Harder to harvest..

What’s your projection?

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Wild rice musings on a snowy day…

So I realized that I hadn’t posted since November. It’s not that I haven’t been here, I have. Its that it is hard to think about wild rice when the lakes are frozen over and covered, somewhat, with snow.  I do think about rice quite often, as I eat it several times a week. But that’s not the point.

As most of you know there is an organization called S.O.R.A. (Save Our Rice Alliance) that has been rather stagnant lately. I can say that. I’m the reason. However – I’m not giving up, I’m just waiting for a warmer climate, and more time.  I am interested in hearing about peoples “how-to’s” on ricing. Or maybe an easier challenge is the “what NOT to do” while harvesting wild rice. I learned one – Never look up (at a bird flying overhead, an airplane, a cloud that looks like an elephant). What happens? You get wet. You fall into the water. Hopefully you’re good enough to jump so you don’t tip the canoe. Keeping your partner happy, and dry, is important. Just ask the first guy I said I would introduce to ricing. I wasn’t very good at jumping. We both got wet. I would add to that – never harvest in a kevlar canoe. Seriously! If you have done this successfully – I want to know!

Okay, gotta run. I’m hoping to be on here a bit more regularly…..stay warm!

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