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By Andrew Havranek Milwaukee

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PUBLISHED 10:25 AM ET Jul. 10, 2021

MILWAUKEE — When fans watch a Milwaukee Bucks game, they’re likely not thinking too much about the hardwood court the team is playing on.

What You Need To Know
The maple wood used for the hardwood floor in Fiserv Forum came from the Menominee Tribe

The tribe has more than 230,000 acres of sustainable forest for lumber

They replant every tree they use for lumber
The Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin, though, does.

“It’s a real big deal for the tribe,” said Nels Huse, Millwork Specialist with Menominee Tribal Enterprises.

Wood from their maple trees were used to make the floor of Fiserv Forum.

“About 90% of the product that comes off the forest floor, the sawmill will process for various uses including the wooden floors that are used on the basketball courts by Prostar and other floor makers,” said Pershing Frechette, Plant Manager at Menominee Tribal Enterprises.

The tribe’s wood gets used for a lot of different things. Their forest has produced wood for the floors for Fiserv Forum, the Bucks’ practice facility, and the court for the Wisconsin Herd.

“We have cut our 230,000 acres over five different times, with increasing the volume by two, by not reducing anything at all,” said John Awonohopay with Menominee Tribal Enterprises.

They work diligently to make sure only the trees ready to become lumber are the ones that get cut down.

They’re also meticulous about replanting everything they use.

“When we cut the Bucks’ trees here just in 2018, for these floors, we cut those trees, and when they came out of the woods, we were planting the next group of trees that would be ready in 80 or 90 years,” Huse said. “That’s pretty impressive to me.”

The tribe also did a prayer ritual when the Bucks got the wood for their floor – a prayer to Mother Earth.

Hal Koller, the President of ProStar Surfaces, who used the wood to make the floor, said that might bring some “magic” to the NBA Finals.

“We’re hoping. We’re hoping there’s magic in the fact that now they’re on native timber, and now that luck carries through and some of the, maybe the spirits of the Menominee who were part of this history of Wisconsin forever come to play here,” Koller said. “We’re out of the desert, back in the Northwoods, I hope it makes sense!”