Combine the water, bay leaves, salt, and pepper in a pot with a snugfitting lid. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 40 to 45 minutes. When cooked stir in the butter, cover again and keep warm.
Combine the pecans, cayenne, maple syrup and salt in a saute pan and quickly cook over low heat until the nuts have lightly toasted. Remove from the heat and combine with the cooked wild rice.