Menomonee Tribal Enterprises Neopit, Wisconsin
(715) 756-2311

The Forest Keepers

Committed to excellence in the sustainable management of our forest, and the manufacturing of our lumber and forest products providing a consistently superior product while serving the needs of our forest, employees, wood products customers, tribal community, and future generations.

fsc Forest Stewardship Council The Mark of Sustainable Forestry FSC C008058
150 years of sustainable forestry from Menomonee Tribal Enterprises

Facts of the Forest

230,713 acres of forest land.
95 percent of land forested.
15 million board ft. harvested annually.

Land Ethic

"Start with the rising sun and work toward the setting sun, but take only the mature trees, the sick trees, and the trees that have fallen. When you reach the end of the reservation, turn and cut from the setting sun to the rising sun and the trees will last forever."

Menomonee Nation Chief Oshkosh
Chief Oshkosh Menominee
Nation

Our History

We are the pioneers of sustainable forest management through generations.
  1. 1854 to Present

    The Menominee Tribe has inhabited Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula for generations, where ancestral tribal lands encompassed over 10 million acres. Following several treaties and land cessions, in 1854 the Menominee people were confined to their current Reservation lands, totaling 235,000 acres. The Treaty of May 12, 1854, established the Menomonee Reservation. Initially, the small Keshena Falls sawmill manufactured lumber, shingles and other products primarily to supply the needs of the Reservation.

    Between the beginnings of the saw mill in 1871 and 1890, approximately 100 million board feet of logs were cut for sale from dead and downed timber.

  2. 1890

    June 12, 1890 – Congressional Act (26 Stat. 146) is signed into legislation

    Congress Recognizes Sustained-Yield Management

    The Congressional Act (26 Stat. 146) of June 12, 1890, allowed the cutting of standing green timber and established the annual allowable cut on Menominee at 20 million board feet.  This Act was a legislative landmark, as it recognized the need to limit indiscriminate cutting that would deplete the forest resource and eventually deprive the Menominee of their economic livelihood.  The Act marked one of Congress’ first attempts to prescribe sustained-yield management on federally controlled lands, recognizing the nation’s shift toward a conservation land ethic.  The harvest of Menominee timber continued under this legislation from 1890 to 1907.

  3. 1908

    March 28, 1908 – Congressional Act (Pub. L. 74-60) (35 State. 51) signed into legislation

    Neopit Sawmill Construction Authorized

    The backbone of the Tribal economy has been its forest product industry. The Tribal Enterprise has its origins back in 1908, when the saw mill was built in Neopit.  The Congressional Act (Pub. L. 74-60) (35 State. 51) of March 28, 1908 authorized the salvage of the downed timber and construction of the Neopit sawmill to maximize economic benefit to the Tribal members.  More important, it further strengthened the sustained-yield concepts contained in the Act of 1890, by adding language such as “the protection, preservation, and harvest of the forest upon the Reservation.” It also strengthened harvesting practices established in the Act of 1890.

  4. 1934

    June 18, 1934 – Indian Reorganization Act signed into law

    Government Direction Implemented over Indian Forestry

    The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, established Secretarial trust responsibility on the Menomonee Forest accordingly:  “The Secretary of the Interior is directed to make rules and regulations for the operation and management of Indian forestry units on the principle of sustained-yield management…”  The Secretary defined sustained-yield under 25 CFR, Part 163, Section 163.1 as “…the yield of forest products that a forest can produce continuously at a given intensity of management.” 

    While  under Section 163.4, sustained-yield management requires”… practical methods of harvest, based on sound economic, silvicultural and other forest management principles… Harvest schedules shall be directed toward achieving an approximate balance at the earliest practical time, between maximum net growth and harvest…” The Act restored management of assets to the Native Americans of the land.

  5. 1954

    June 17, 1954 – The Menominee Termination Act signed

    Federal Tribal Recognition Removed

    The Menominee Termination Act of June 17, 1954 “Terminated federal supervision over the property and members of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.”  Although the Menominee Termination Act of 1954, removed the Reservation from federal trust protection status, Section 896 of this Act required “The plan shall contain provision for protection of the forest on a sustained-yield basis and for the protection of the water, soil, fish and wildlife.”


    Historically, the sustained-yield requirement was intended to ensure that the only significant source of jobs, economic development and tax revenue on Menominee, i.e., the forest and Tribal sawmill, are preserved. This provision of federal law led to State of Wisconsin Chapter 258, Laws of 1959, creating 70.335 of Wisconsin Statutes, Valuation and Assessment of Sustained-Yield forest Lands.

  6. 1973-75

    December 22, 1973 – Menominee Termination Act repealed, Menominee Restoration reinstated

    April 22, 1975 – The Trust and Management Agreement passed

    Tribal Sovereignty Reinstated

    The Menominee Restoration Act (Pub. L. 93-197) repealed the Termination Act and reinstated The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin as a federally recognized sovereign Indian Tribe.  The Act also preserved the rights and privileges outlined in the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934.

    Restoration Plan

    This Plan allowed for provisions “That the forest will continue to be operated on a sustained yield basis.  The Trust and Management Agreement specifically states this requirement in Section 6, and the Forest will be operated according to the existing Forest Management Plan,  Which sets forth detailed procedures for operating the tribal forest on a sustained yield basis.”

    Unique Trust Relationships Established between Menominee and Federal Government

    In accordance with the Menominee Restoration Act, the Trust and Management Agreement established rights intended to grant “maximum self-determination to the tribe”.  The Menominee Tribal Enterprises has been charged with the responsibility of managing the forest, which is held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior for the benefit of the Menominee People.

  7. 1976

    November 12, 1976 – Constitution and Bylaws of Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Adopted

    Constitutional Framework Established

    A living document is introduced and bylaws are laid out for the Menominee Tribe, with enumerated guarantees that the forest would continue to operate on a sustained-yield basis, incorporated from the provision of the Trust and Management Agreement of 1975.

  8. 2005

    April 2, 2005 – Menominee Tribal Enterprises supplies wood flooring to NCAA Tournament Final Four in St. Louis and Indianapolis

    Quality Wood Flooring Tradition Continued

    MTE, in conjunction with Horner Flooring of Dollar Bay Michigan, produced the NCAA basketball tournament’s final floor. MTE had been supplying wood for the NCAA basketball floors since 1985.

  9. 2012

    April 1, 2012 – CBS Sports Documentary “Court of Champions” debut, featuring MTE Wood

    Wood Flooring for the 2012 NCAA Final Four

    The CBS documentary tracks the progress of the NCAA Tournament’s basketball floor for the Final Four from the wood’s origins in the Menominee Forest, Wisconsin all the way to its installation in the Superdome in New Orleans.

  10. 2016

    April 19, 2016 – MTE and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Sign Collaboration Agreement

    April 20, 2016 – MTE opens new biomass district energy system

    Collaboration

    The College of Menominee Nation and the U.S. Forest Service will cooperate in synthesizing best practices in forest management, ecology, utilization and Native American expertise and applying this knowledge to sustainable forest practices and sustainable development. The college's Center for First Americans Forestlands will administer the initiative.

    New MTE Biomass Facility district energy system Inauguration

    MTE’s new biomass high-efficiency energy system will generate roughly 85,000 million Btu of heat and 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year to replace aging equipment, improve air quality and reduce operating costs at the facility.

MTE offers FSC® Certified high quality products that are manufactured on the Menominee Indian Reservation located in Neopit, Wisconsin (USA). Our wood products provide you with a distinctive selection of native northern hardwood species from our world-renowned Menominee Forest.

Final Four Floors provider of hard maple wood for the basketball courts
NCAA Final Four Basketball Court Flooring
Milwaukee Bucks Flooring provider of hard maple wood for the basketball courts
Milwaukee Bucks Basketball
S/V Dennis Sullivan provider of lumber for the three masts of Great Lakes schooner
S/V Dennis Sullivan Ship Building Lumber
See What We Can Do

Menominee Tribal Enterprises

Sustainable Lumber SuppliersStacked Timber For Sale

160 Years of Green Forestry and Superior Wood Products

Menominee Tribal Enterprises is dedicated to the traditions of responsible forestry while providing lumber of unsurpassed quality to our customers. From finished or rough cut lumber to high quality veneer and even pulp wood, we provide materials to keep a variety of industries running smoothly.
A long heritage of sustainable forestry is at the center of our lumber business and milling practices. Our forest management strategy maintains the health of our forest, which is used to financially sustain our community.

MTE Mission Statement:

Menominee Tribal Enterprises is committed to excellence in the sustainable management of our forest, and the manufacturing of lumber and forest products; providing a consistently superior product while serving the needs of our forest, employees, wood products customers, tribal community, and future generations.

Contact us to learn more about Menominee Tribe’s forest management practice or to place a lumber order.

Forest Keepers: Traditions of Land Ethics and SustainabilityTimber Harvest History

The Menominee Tribe has lived in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula for generations, where ancestral tribal lands covered 10 million acres. In 1854, following the Wolf Creek Treaty and other land cessions, the Menominee people were confined to their current Reservation lands, totaling 235,000 acres.

At the time, the American government was relocating the Menominee people onto land they deemed to be inadequate for farming—an assessment of the land which turned out to be true. But the Menominee reservation was situated in the midst of a heavy forest, so they turned to timber harvesting as a way of life and a source of steady revenue for the tribe.

Forest Yield Management

The Menominee Tribe saw their future depending on the forest and began a strategy of sustained yield management that steered clear of forest exploitation, while preserving the Tribe’s way of life. In order to survive off of this limited land base, the Tribe realized the need to harvest timber in a manner that perpetuates the forest resources for future generations. The basic concept was to harvest timber at a pace where the amount harvested never surpasses the forest’s natural capacity to replace it:

Start with the rising sun, and work toward the setting sun, but take only the mature trees, the sick trees, and the trees that have fallen. When you reach the end of the reservation, turn and cut from the setting sun to the rising sun and the trees will last forever.”

Chief Oshkosh, Menominee

This has been the driving force for Menominee forest management over the past 160 years. During that time, over 2.25 billion board feet of timber have been harvested. But even after all that harvesting, there is more standing saw-timber volume now than there was in 1854. Basically, the entire volume of the forest has been harvested twice, and yet there is still more forest volume standing today than when timber harvesting began, over a century and a half ago.

Sustainable Yield Lumber

The sustainability practices employed by MTE allow the forest to replenish itself naturally, while still providing our clients with all the lumber and wood they need; from over two dozen species of trees, located on our timberland of approximately 235,000 acres. From rough cut and saw logs to veneer, to pulpwood and wood by-products like woodchips and sawdust, MTE is your source for all lumber needs.

Get in touch with Menominee Tribal Enterprises to get responsibly harvested wood.
© Copyright Menominee Tribal Enterprises 2016
FSC Forest Stewardship Council NHLA Certified National Hardwood Lumber Association USGBC US Green Building Council Member  transforming the way our buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED
N3522 Cottage Avenue - P.O.Box 10 Neopit WI 54150 USA
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