About Us

The Division of Resouce Management is dedicated to the protection of the water, land, forest, fish, wildlife, plants and other natural and cultural resouces present upon the Leech Lake Reservation. Among our many duties, enforce fish and game laws, regulate logging, wild rice harvesting, and plant resources, and generally protect the Band’s many resources for the use of future generations.

How we came about

In the nineteenth century, dams were built by the U.S. War Department, now the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam on the Mississippi River at the outlet of Lake Winnibigoshish and the dam at the outlet of Leech Lake via the Leech River (Federal Dam) were both in operation in 1884. These dams were purportedly constructed for navigational purposes, primarily to aid in transport of harvested timber, but wealthy grain mill owners in the Twin Cities area also exerted a great deal of influence. Other reasons for the construction were flood control and water storage for downstream users. In 1993, the Army Corps of Engineers declared that next to navigational interest, the trust responsibility to the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe were the next order or priority, above flood control, water supply needs, and other downstream uses these water control structures are a concern to Tribal members and natural resource managers due to their potential harm to natural wild rice stands if water levels are not managed properly.

In 1934, the Wheeler-Howard Act (Indian Reorganization Act of 1934) attempted to correct the years of bad federal policy, which had placed the Indian in a worse situation than ever before. The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe was created. The MCT is made up of six Chippewa reservations (bands) in Northern Minnesota; White Earth, Fond du Lac, Bois Forte, Mille Lacs, Grand Portage, and Leech Lake.

The Leech Lake Conservation Department, now the Division of Resources Management (DRM), began enforcing a Conservation Code in 1976. The Land Leasing Office was made part of the division in 1982. In 1982 a water resources staff person was hired to coordinate water quality work on the reservation. Subsequently in 1984, a fisheries and wildlife management program and a tribal fish hatchery were added to the division. In 191, the band elected to contract its forestry functions from the BIA and subsequently our forestry Department came into being. An Environmental Protection component was added to the Division in 1990, funded by the RTC and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A Botany/Exotic Species Section was added to the Fish and Wildlife Program in 1994.

Our priorities

The Division of Resouce Management is dedicated to the protection of the natural resouces present upon the Leech Lake Reservation.

Our boundaries

The Leech Lake Indian Reservation contains 864,158 acres, including parts of Beltrami, Cass, Hubbard, and Itasca Counties (see location map). It is located in North-Central Minnesota in the Central Pine-Hardwoods Forest ecoregion, a zone of transition between boreal (conifer) forest and deciduous (hardwood) forest. The Reservation features some of the best-managed forestland within the Great Lakes Basin .Most of the Reservation lies within the Mississippi headwaters watershed. The Mississippi River in the central part and the Boy River in the southeastern part drain it. The Reservation's northeastern part lies within the Big Fork River watershed, and its extreme southwestern part lies within the Crow Wing River watershed.

Employment with DRM

Leech Lake Human Resources Division

Division of Resource Management
15756 State 371 NW
Cass Lake, MN 56633

(218) 335-7400 Phone
(218) 442-3942 Toll-free