Environmental

Weather Station Installed on Pokagon Band Tribal Properties - Pokégnek Bodéwadmik Dbë'gnen

The Pokagon Band Department of Natural Resources (PBDNR) was awarded a tribal weather station in 2018, however, due to setbacks related to natural resources conservation service (NRCS) staffing issues, weather issues, securing needed parts and COVID, the weather station installation was delayed. Installation of the weather station within the Tribal Soil Climate Analysis Network (TSCAN) began in early November of 2021. Over a couple of visits during November, PBDNR worked with NRCS and the Cass County Conservation District to install the new weather station on tribal properties. PBDNR also worked with Ėthë Bodwéwadmimwat to come up with a name for the TSCAN weather station: Pokégnek Bodéwadmik Dbë’gnen – Pokagon Band Measurements. The TSCAN weather station will assist in taking measurements of the weather including wind speed and direction, solar radiation, relative humidity and temperature, rain amounts, snow amounts, and soil moisture and temperature. The station received its remaining parts in March of 2022 and is now fully functional, being powered by a solar panel and sending data to the NRCS SCAN website. The data from the station that are provided to the network can be utilized by anyone interested in finding out more information about the local weather. The Pokégnek Bodéwadmik Dbë’gnen weather station will be able to assist with monitoring climate change affects and will assist agricultural producers so they have better knowledge of when to plant their crops.

Pokégnek Bodéwadmik Dbë'gnen (3071) - Site Information and Reports 

 

Environmental Quality 

The Environmental Quality Division (EQD) within the DNR will develop and implement regulatory programs based on Section 2.04 of the Health and Safety Act. Many of the rules and regulations that are addressed in Section 2.04 are based on federal environmental statues that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for administering. Thus, the EQD will function similar to the EPA.

Pesticide Management

Do you have a Pesticide or Fertilizer Complaint you would like to file?

If so, please download this form, fill it out and return it to the Department of Natural Resources.
Complaints regarding pesticides and fertilizers need to be submitted in a timely fashion to consider incidents before the contaminants are no longer present.  Complaints received more than 30 days post incident will be kept on file, but no action will be taken.

Water Quality Program

The Water Quality Program, run by the Water Quality Specialist, is the first of many programs that will be needed under EQD. The goal of the program is to protect, assess, and restore waters resources on tribal lands. The water program will consist of Baseline Monitoring, Watershed Base Planning, along with Ordinance and Regulation Development.

Program Highlight

The Pokagon Department of Natural Resources has created a depth profile (bathymetry) map of Gage Lake. Using a Sontek RiverSurveyor, 12,000 + points were collected over a 5 hour time period. The data collected was then entered into ArcGIS software to create the map. Profile contours are in 1 foot intervals and show a maximum depth of 38 feet for Gage Lake. This information will help citizens see the depths in the lake and assist in fishing site selection. This information will help the DNR during their water sampling efforts and also assist with additional modeling that may be completed regarding Gage Lake in the future.

Current Activities

Baseline Monitoring of Surface Waters

  • Develop and implement the Band's water monitoring plan on lakes, rivers, and streams that are on and/or adjacent to Tribal lands
  • Prepare a Clean Water Act 106 funding application to EPA. The EPA 106 program provides funding assistance to eligible tribes and states to implement water quality monitoring and protection programs.
  • Assess the Band’s surface waters to see if they are in compliance with Pokagon Band water quality standards. Pokagon Band water quality standards were adopted via the Pokagon Band "Health and Safety Act," in which Michigan's Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) is the reference. 

Watershed Base Planning

  • Attend local watershed meetings and communicate Pokagon Band concerns and goals of local waters resources
  • Contributing to the development of St. Joseph, Paw Paw, Dowagiac, and Galien River watershed plans
  • Implement the plans and Pokagon Band water resources goals via restorations projects, monitoring, education, and partnerships.

Ordinance and Regulation Development

  • Review and assess current ordinances and regulations
  • Assist with creation of water protection related ordinances and regulations
  • Develop water quality standards that are federally recognized and meet Pokagon Band's water resources needs

Reference links
Watershed Plans: St. Joseph River, Paw Paw River, Dowagiac River, Galien River
Pokagon Band: Health, Environmetal Protection and Building Codes Act
NREPA:  Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act