Many area residents and Beltrami Island State Forest visitors may have noticed the new Red Lake Indian land boundary signs posted within the forest. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging folks using state lands adjacent to the Red Lake Reservation boundaries to abide by Red Lake tribal laws and avoid trespassing on posted tribal lands.
Throughout the Beltrami Island State Forest, the Red Lake Indian Nation owns scattered parcels of ceded lands. These lands fall under Red Lake tribal laws. Recently, “no trespassing” signs were replaced and new ones posted to inform the public of tribal ownership and prohibit trespassing.
Within the last week, the DNR local forestry office has received questions regarding whether the general public is allowed to enter these lands to harvest blueberries. According to Red Lake Natural Resources, this activity is also reserved for tribal members.
Recreational users may cross Red Lake tribal lands only when traveling on maintained state forest roads. The designated trails systems within the Beltrami Island State Forest, including off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails, do not cross tribal lands except on maintained state forest roads.
Folks recreating near areas where signs are posted are reminded that it is unlawful to “destroy boundary and warning signs and hunt, trap, or fish on Indian land.”
With more than 600,000 acres of public lands in the Beltrami Island State Forest, visitors will have no problem finding opportunities to gather blueberries as well as hunt, fish and trap.
“We are asking visitors to respect tribal lands and encourage folks with land ownership questions to call or stop by the local DNR offices to obtain a map of the Beltrami Island State Forest before they visit the area,” said Adam Munstenteiger, DNR forest supervisor in Warroad.
Red Lake tribal land regulations:
- No trespassing on Red Lake tribal lands and waters.
- No hunting or gathering (including berry picking) on Red Lake tribal lands.
- No all-terrain vehicle ATV/OHV use on Red Lake tribal lands.
- Small game hunting is allowed on Red Lake tribal lands with a Red Lake small game license.
Questions pertaining to hunting opportunities on Red Lake lands should be directed to the Red Lake Department of Public Safety 218-679-3315.
For more information, contact local DNR forestry office or visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_forests/.
For questions on the federal laws pertaining to tribal lands, contact Red Lake Natural Resources at 218-679-3959, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.