2003 Annual Meeting

PERM’s 2003 Annual Meeting was held at 7:30 PM on March 18, 2003, at Broadway Pizza in Elk River, MN. About twenty members were present to review what PERM has accomplished this past year and what we are looking forward to in the months ahead.

Mark Rotz, Chair of the Conservation/Legislative/Legal Committee reported on our accomplishments, with the assistance of Dick Sternberg, regarding the Mille Lacs Lake fishery. We can be proud of our role in achieving a more sensible Safe Harvest Level and the less restrictive regulations that resulted. Looking forward, there is still a problem with the biological imbalance that currently exists in the walleye population and most forage species.

Mark also reported that PERM had achieved its goal of preventing Minnesota courts from adopting a “full faith and credit” rule for tribal courts and tribal court rulings. This was a major accomplishment that prevents tribal court rulings from having the same legal status and force as state court rulings.

Several recent news articles were distributed, and a brief discussion was held on the legislation pending in Congress known as the “Hicks Fix”. Mark explained how this bill would essentially overturn several recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that greatly rolled back the recent expansion of tribal governmental power and tribal sovereignty, including a case PERM was instrumental in winning a few years ago called Atkinson v. Shirley. PERM will be monitoring the status of the bill in coming months.

Finally, Mark updated members with regard to the Mille Lacs Reservation boundary dispute. The lawsuit, filed by Mille Lacs County against the Mille Lacs Band, seeks a determination by the federal court as to whether or not the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation still comprises the original 61,000 acres as defined in the Treaty of 1855, or if it has been greatly diminished. The Band filed a motion to dismiss the case and a hearing on the motion was held in January, 2003. If the Court rules in favor of the Band’s motion to dismiss, Mille Lacs County will have to decide if they want to appeal or not. PERM hopes this is not necessary, but would encourage Mille Lacs County to do so if need be. If the Court denies the Band’s motion, the lawsuit will proceed to trial. Treasurer Scott Ebner gave a current financial report. Chairman Pat Doroff gave a detailed summary of the 2002 year-end financial statement. PERM’s revenues for 2002 were $111,118. Our administrative and fundraising expenses were $24,900. Our program expenses (education, biological studies, legal, etc.) were $78,682.

Elections were held for the three positions on the Board of Directors that were due to expire. Hank Dombovy and Lisa Mueller were elected to another three year term. Howard Thurber, whose term had also expired was not present. No nominations were received to fill this position. The Chairman will be checking with Mr. Thurber to see if he is willing and able to serve another term on the Board.

The members of the PERM Board of Directors are:

Pat Doroff - Anoka MN
Mark Rotz - Elk River MN
Stan Visser - Ogilvie MN
Lisa Mueller - Albertville MN
Doug Meyenburg, Jr. - East Bethel MN
Hank Dombovy - Pierz MN
Scott Ebner - Elk River MN
Doug Kolodzienski - East Bethel MN.

There remains one vacant position.

Several committee assignments were made, and most members present were willing to serve on one or more committees. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30 P.M.