“Save Minnesota” is not an empty slogan. Instead, it is an urgent cry for help from me and thousands of others who have taken on the enormous job of trying to protect the rights and resources of all Minnesotans.
“Save Minnesota” is not an overstated slogan. We really are in danger of losing our rights in the whole northern two thirds of our state. We have to save our natural resources, save the sports of hunting and fishing, save the tourism industry, save taxes and save property rights and values.
I am, of course, referring to the recent treaty rights lawsuits filed against the State of Minnesota. This is not a ‘red and white’ issue. This is a rights and resource issue that should concern every Minnesota resident.
The members of PERM are not here to decide the fate of this nation’s Federal Indian Policies. We realize the problems are very sensitive and that tough questions sometimes have tough answers. What PERM is here to do, however, is prevent the ‘righting of any wrongs’ at the expense of our rights and resources.
When you are finished reading this article, I sincerely hope you will make a generous tax deductible contribution to the PERM Legal Fund.”
There is little question that these lawsuits threaten our personal liberties while challenging our need for responsible management of our resources.
Using Federal money and profits from their casinos, these tribes fully intend to establish hunting, fishing, and gathering rights in roughly two-thirds of Minnesota. (To get a better understanding of this area, draw a line from Stillwater to St. Cloud to Moorhead. Everything north of this line is at risk.)
Using the recently-revealed conservation code from the Mille Lacs band as a guide, it is very fair to suggest that every acre in the above-mentioned area would eventually fall victim to an irresponsible form of resource management, complete with commercial gillnets, spears, and illegal deer hunting as we know it. The Band is also attempting to resurrect the original 61,000 acre reservation.
The challenge, therefore, is to defend our rights and resources by staying in these court cases and taking them all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.
The State of Minnesota recently stated they spent $1.7 million for litigation and they estimate they will need another $1.7 million for the next two years to defend its position in these lawsuits – a position that the Attorney General’s office has stated “may not protect the interests of the landowners in each case.” It is because of this missing protection that we have supported intervention in the Mille Lacs case and are vigorously supporting landowner intervention in the other two.
According to recent estimates provided by our legal team, we must raise $1.5 million over the next five years if we intend to stay in the battle to Save Minnesota.
At first glance this figure may be discouraging. But then, how much is Minnesota really worth? If you hunt or fish, how much would you pay to preserve that right? If you own lake shore in any part of the affected area, how much would you pay to avoid the inevitable ‘clouded titles’? If you owned a mainstreet business in the area, how much is it worth not to go bankrupt? What’s it worth to keep gillnets out of Gull Lake, Woman Lake, and the Whitefish Chain?
During any forty-eight hour time period, any one Indian casino in the State will take in an amount equal or greater to the amount needed by PERM to Save Minnesota. What is Minnesota really worth?
The members of PERM, along with the members of many groups from all over our state, invite you to join them in the battle to Save Minnesota by making a generous tax deductible contribution today.
“At $1.5 million, saving Minnesota is a steal. Without the $1.5 million, you may consider it stolen! Get off the sidelines and get into the fray to Save Minnesota.”