University of Minnesota to hold public listening session on Feb. 13 to discuss university's plans to return land to Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; UoM's Cloquet Forestry Center operates on land wholly located within Fond du Lac Reservation

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

February 12, 2024 (press release) –

In a promised step in the ongoing conversations about the U of M’s Cloquet Forestry Center, which operates on land wholly located within the Fond du Lac Reservation, a public listening session has been scheduled for February 13 to hear public comment on the University’s intended plans to return this land to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

The session will take place at the Cloquet Forestry Center auditorium (175 University Road, Cloquet, MN 55720) beginning at 3 p.m. and running until 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

A public listening session was one of the commitments made in February 2023 when the University’s Board of Regents received an informational update about an initial plan to move forward collaboratively — with the Fond du Lac, the University and the State of Minnesota — to return to the Band the approximately 3,400 acres that house the Cloquet Forestry Center.

Updates on how continued discussions about the future of the land have progressed will be provided on February 13. In addition, important aspects of these conversations have included how U of M research conducted on the land may align with the research needs of the Band, coordinated opportunities for program development and community engagement on the land, a shared understanding of the history of the property and cultural uses, and more. Though updates will be provided, much of the session’s time will be reserved for public comment.

This FAQ contains additional information about the history of the Cloquet Forestry Center, how the University came to operate it on this land and context surrounding these discussions and potential next steps. Information provided in the February 2023 public update on these plans can be found in the docket materials from the February 2023 University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting, specifically under Informational Items for the Board of Regents Finance & Operations Committee. 

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Dan Rivard
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