From the Chairman

By Mark Rotz

2000 Annual Meeting - This year our Annual PERM Membership Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 29, 2000 at the American Legion Hall in Elk River, Minnesota. Members were given a detailed explanation of the organization's 1999 year end financial statement. Randy Thompson from the law firm of Persian, MacGregor & Thompson was on hand to give members an overview of legal issues relating to tribal rights and jurisdiction. Two members of the Board of Directors were up for re-election. Howard Thurber, a charter member of PERM from Wahkon, MN and Hank Dombovy from Pierz, MN. Both agreed to run for another three year term on the Board. There were no other nominations for their positions and both Hank and Howard were re-elected by a voice vote. The current Board consists of the following members, Mark Rotz, Howard Thurber, Scott Ebner, Doug Meyenburg Jr., Hank Dombovy, Jim Moeller and Don Helmeke.

New Regulations for Mille Lacs Lake - The annual process of dividing up the fish in Mille Lacs Lake, and determining who gets how much depending on your ethnic background, is completed for another year. Tribal and state officials have set the safe harvest level for Mille Lacs at 370,000 pounds of walleye. The tribal allocation of the harvest this year is 70,000 pounds, leaving non-tribal members with the remaining 300,000. While the non-tribal portion is some four times larger than the tribal allotment, there are hundreds of times more non-tribal members than tribal members and thousands more non-tribal fishermen than tribal fishermen. As a result, non-tribal members face new and more restrictive regulations, while the tribal piece of the pie grows larger each year. The new regulations for walleye on Mille Lacs Lake still allow a six fish limit, but anglers are restricted to fish between 14 and 18 inches, with one fish of the six fish limit allowed over 28 inches. The year 2,000 is the third year of a court-approved five year phase-in period at Mille Lacs Lake, with the tribal allotment reaching about 100,000 pounds in the last year. As negotiations begin on quotas and what the allocations will be after the fifth year, PERM and the Landowners will be fighting to hold down the tribal quotas well under the sought-after 50 percent by the tribes. The court, despite our efforts, claimed it never actually put an allocation figure on the level of tribal harvest. There are sound arguments that will be put forth by the Landowners for limiting the tribe's share to a reasonable level for religious, and cultural needs.

PERM Billboard - Work is being done to put up one or more PERM billboards on high traffic areas in the area. In addition to a short slogan, our organization name, phone number and web address, we plan on having an easily changeable slot to list coming events and attractions. Committee chairman, Hank Dombovy, is looking for pledges to help pay for initial costs and maintenance on the signs. For more up to date info on locations, costs, etc., or to make a pledge, give Hank a call at (320) 277-3539 or call Dave Oslin at (320) 676-8621

We appreciate your continued support - I want to thank everyone for helping to make the first quarter of the new millennium a successful one for PERM. Together we have raised another $36,000 which brings our debt down to $125,000. The goal of lifting this heavy financial burden is finally visible. Of course, in addition to reducing our debt, we have continued our efforts in the area of issue education and promotion. PERM volunteers spent countless hours the past few months at various sport shows in the area, talking with people, passing out information and, of course, trying to make a few bucks, too. We also had fabulous speakers at our fundraisers in February and March. I want to personally thank Alex Eguiguren, author of "Legalized Racism" who spoke in Blaine in February, and Ms. Scott Kayla Morrison, President of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance who spoke at our Wild game Dinner in March.

Of course we still have much more work to be done. As you will see, judging from the information contained in this edition of the PERM Newsletter, we cannot ease back in our efforts to promote sound natural resource management, based on science not ancestry. PERM needs each and every one of you to be successful.