From the Chairman

...by Pat Doroff

While many of us were busy enjoying summer - those annual vacations, fishing trips, family get togethers, ball games etc. - those that would like to steal control of our public natural resources and deny thousands of citizens their fundamental rights, were busy moving forward with their plans.

At the national level, tribal governments and their allies in Congress continue to work on passage of S.578. This is the bill that was touted by its supporters as a means to overturn several of our recent hard-won victories in the U.S. Supreme Court, and would greatly strengthen the power of tribal governments in our Country. Please read the letter by Randy Thompson on page 3 of this issue.

Similarly, those same forces continue to work on plans to turn over management of our national wildlife refuges, parks and other federal lands to tribal governments. For the latest information see the articles about the National Bison Range on page 1 and 2 of this issue.

Here in Minnesota, state and tribal officials continue to press for state recognition of tribal court orders. Remember, this is same plan we stopped last year with a ruling from the state Supreme Court. Well, the tribes and their allies in state government just don’t give up. They have ignored the directive of the Supreme Court and have submitted a new plan, written by tribal lawyers, that is in some ways worse that what we stopped a year ago. Be on the lookout for this effort, which will subject thousands of Minnesota citizens to the jurisdiction of tribal courts!

The battle over the Mille Lacs Reservation boundary continues its way through the courts. Stop by and show your support to the Mille Lacs County Tea Party on your way up to deer camp on the Friday night before the firearms deer season (see the ad on page 3).

Progress seems to come ever-so-slowly regarding treaty fisheries management at Mille Lacs Lake. Some DNR Fisheries personnel seem unable to see the forest for the trees. We worked so hard to establish a realistic safe harvest level for the lake, and now it’s like pulling teeth to achieve a more reasonable harvest regulation for anglers—one that would make biological sense, create a more enjoyable experience for anglers and relieve some of the economic strain this whole process has placed on the area economy. As he has for the past year-and-a-half, Dick Sternberg has some interesting facts and views about the latest developments in the Mille Lacs fishery issue. See his column on page 1.

As you can surmise, we desperately need your involvement and financial support. If PERM is to continue to make a difference on these critical issues of the day, we need more members and contributors. Please, attend a PERM event this fall. Consider volunteering to help out at an event. Try to get your friends and relatives to join PERM. If each member would just recruit one additional member in the coming year it would be great!

Have a safe and enjoyable fall. Good luck hunting and fishing!