About Us >> History
Producers and Manufactures of Quality Sustainable Forest Products since 1908
As the business arm of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin – being owned, controlled, and managed by the members of the Menominee Community – MTE in many ways embodies the culture, values, and spirituality of the Menominee:
"It is said of the Menominee that the sacredness of the land is their very body,
the values of the culture are their very soul, the water is their very blood. It
is obvious, then, that the forest and its living creatures can be viewed as food
for their existence." (Marshall Pecore MTE Forest Manager, Journal of
Forestry, July, 1992).
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 Menominee Forest has survived as an island of timber in an ocean of cleared land. It is representative of the Lake States boreal forest that existed prior to clearing for farming by settlers and timber barons.
Managing Wood Harvests and Resources
The Tribe quickly recognized the essential connection of their future and the wellness of the forest and embarked on a course of sustained yield management to avoid forest exploitation and preserve Tribal existence. In order to survive off of this limited land base, the Tribe decided that it must harvest timber; but must maintain and perpetuate the forest resources for future generations.
The basic concept used was to harvest timber from one end of the reservation to the other in such a manner that when done, the first areas cut would be ready for cutting again.
Conservation Driving Forest Management
Responsible harvesting has been the driving force for forest management over the past 140 years. It has been successful – there is more standing saw timber volume (1.7 billion board feet) now than there was in 1854 (estimated at 1.2 billion board feet). During this same period, over 2.25 billion board feet have been harvested from the same acreage.
The backbone of the Tribal economy has been its forest product industry. The Tribal Enterprise has its origins back in 1908, when our saw mill was built in Neopit. Since the Tribal Enterprise is not federally subsidized, the success of the mill depends on the steady flow of timber from forest to market. The Enterprise employs approximately 125 people which are mostly tribal members, plus 180 more woods workers.
At MTE, sustainability is our tradition – contact the forest management experts and lumber producers to get a quote on your next wood order.