Natural Resources


Nestlé/Ice Mountain has applied for a state permit to almost double its allowed groundwater pumping from 250 to 400 gallons per minute (gpm) from White Pine Springs Well (PW-101) in Osceola County, Michigan (After already increasing from 150-250). A citizens' group proved a decade ago that a similar proposal would harm adjacent surface waters, wetlands, fish, and aquatic life.  Moreover Nestlé's application for massive groundwater withdrawal does not take into consideration the existence of GTB's treaty rights confirmed in the November 2, 2007 consent decree. The well is located in the territory ceded to the United States in the March 28, 1836 Treaty of Washington. Inland usufructuary rights reserved by GTB and the other 1836 Treaty Tribes "are property rights protected by the United States Constitution." Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. Director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 971 F. Supp. 282, 288 (W. D. Mich. 1995), aff'd. 141 F.3d 635 (6th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1040 (1998).  These property rights in the fauna and flora resources dependent upon the Muskegon River tributaries and related wetlands may be adversely impacted by the proposed increase in water withdrawal.

Therefore GTB's Natural Resources Department is coordinating efforts with other Tribes and the expert witnesses from the prior litigation to develop facts establishing adverse impact.  In the meantime the deadline for submitting public comments is March 3rd.  Tribal Council encourages GTB tribal citizens to submit written comments to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) either by letter or email HERE.

A suggested form letter can be dowloaded HERE



Grand Traverse Band
Natural Resources Department
3505 Putnam Road
Peshawbestown, MI 49682

Main Line: (231) 534-7500

Fax: (231) 534-7576




To protect and enhance the natural resources and environment entrusted to us by the Creator for managed and respected utilization by Anishinabek for past, present, and future generations.


Desmond L. Berry

Natural Resources Department Manager

Office:  (231) 534-7363

Cell:  (231) 866-1482


 Michigan House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Testimony - D. Berry

Natural Resources Department Services



  • Soil Erosion Permits (On Tribal Land)
  • Surface Water Quality Analysis
  • Indoor Air Quality Inspection
  • Household Radon Test Kits
  • Glass, Plastic, Cardboard Recycling Bins located adjacent to Eagletown Market
  • Household Compost Bins
  • Phase I Contamination Surveys
  • Wetland Delineation


  • Produce, review, and implement policies and regulation booklets for Inland Hunting, Gathering, and Fishing Rights as recommended by the Natural Resources and Environment Committee
  • Issue Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, and Gathering Licenses and permits
  • Issue special use permits; disabled Tribal hunter permits, special needs subsistence/ceremonial permits, and road kill special use permits
  • Issue and manage the distribution of fish spearing and netting permits for specially regulated seasons/methods
  • Register inland boat/snowmobile/ORV
  • Issue Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore access passes
  • Issue Huron-Manistee National Forest access passes
  • Issue camping permits, firewood permits, among other permits authorizing Tribal Member resource use on USFS and State lands
  • Conduct annual License Holder Survey
  • Develop and foster working relationships with Federal and State agencies to improve management efficiency, develop resource use agreements, and improve productive communication with other resource management agencies
  • Conduct wildlife harvest monitoring; including deer check stations, furbearer registrations, and other special inspections of harvested fish and game
  • Conduct fisheries and wildlife habitat surveys, inventories, and assessments
  • Maintenance of the Tribal Repository/Exercise of American Indian Religious Freedom Act
  • GPS Mapping and Technical Assistance
  • Plant, Insect, and Fish Identification
  • Grant writing and administration for resource protection, restoration, and enhancement projects with particular emphasis on collaborative projects



  • Public Outreach and Education
  • Scuba Diving (Advanced Open Water)
  • Underwater search and recovery

The Natural Resource Department provides this list of services to citizens. If you have any questions, please stop in or call us at 231-534-7500.

Natural Resources & Environmental Committee (NREC) Meetings Notice

Hunting Regulations 2009 (Current)

Hunting/Fishing/Gathering/Trapping License Application

Memo Marina Garbage Lock Key

2013 Natural Resources Department Presentation

This page last updated on 4/5/2017.

The Grand Traverse Band of
Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

2605 N. West Bay Shore Dr.
Peshawbestown, MI 49682
Toll Free Exchange:1-866-534-7750

Webmaster: (231) 534-7366 or (231)534-7008