PERM has had a good year, as a voice for citizens, staying on top of the issues. And now gearing up for 2019. Check issues and projects below. Will you donate to help launch a full-bore 2019?
‘Co-Managing’ Mille Lacs
When Gov. Dayton took office in 2012, the Mille Lacs walleye limit was four. Limits were reduced each year until the first closure to walleye fishing in history. Every year after was catch-and-release only, always with the threat of closure.
The DNR created a Mille Lacs Fishery Advisory Committee to bring stakeholders’ expertise to the “co-management” of Mille Lacs. But options to rationalize walleye regs and quotas got little traction. Any easing of restrictions “increases angler pressure,”—on the DNR’s tribal negotiations as much as on the walleye population.
Anglers hear walleye numbers keep increasing—even tripling, according to the DNR. But never enough to escape a politically-driven ultra-conservative roller coaster of slots and limits. Anglers end up tossing everything back and quotas are mostly from “hooking mortality.”
You can help support PERM’s efforts to restore Mille Lacs for ALL Citizens by attending MLFAC meetings. Learn what’s driving the “co-management” regs and quotas. Then speak up during the 15-minutes reserved at every meeting for public comments and questions.
You can also make a difference by contributing to PERM, the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit group addressing the fallout from the Supreme Court’s 1999 ruling on the1837 Treaty case.
1855 Ceded Territory Potential Lawsuit
Over three years ago four tribal members were cited for testing the bounds of 1855 Treaty rights. Citations followed a protest using the illegal setting of gill nets in Gull Lake near Brainerd.
Charges against three defendants were dropped, leaving only James Northrup, whose tribal membership was changed to strengthen the tribe’s case. Northrup was sentenced to one year in jail (stayed) and fined $50 on a netting charge. He was fined $50 each for not having boat registration and a life jacket. He was given two years to pay.
Infractions may have been minor and sentencing limited. But they can be the basis for a legal challenge similar to the 1837 Treaty case in 1999. The Supreme Court’s “affirmation” of harvest rights in that case led to a set of harvest regulations exclusively for tribal members. And to a convoluted “co-management” scheme to graft them into the state’s regs.
Unlike other treaties in Minnesota, the 1855 Treaty doesn’t provide for off-reservation harvest rights. Despite Treaty language saying “fully and entirely relinquish … any and all rights, title, and interest, of whatsoever nature…,” tribal lawyers still claim off-reservation harvest rights. Because they are “implicit,” and “inherited” from the 1837 Treaty case ruling!
If appealed as expected, the case will create far more problems than the 1837 Treaty case. It applies to the entire 1855 ceded territory, a massive 1,400+ sq. mile swath of northern Minnesota. It includes a part of Mille Lacs, from which “contiguous waters” puts all of Mille Lacs into play, greatly confounding its “co-management.”
The biggest threat comes from a narrative that Treaty harvest rights also mean “property rights.” Recognizing property rights would have land-use management implications far beyond wildlife harvest. These include management or regulation of land and environmental issues such as pipelines, mining, or water quality.
PERM has, does, and will honor Indian treaties as written—their plain meaning and clear intent, not off-base interpretations that harm state and citizen interests, such as at Mille Lacs. We believe all citizens, tribal and non-Indian, should fish, hunt, and gather under one set of laws.
Letter to President Trump
Is there a way around the never-ending saga at Mille Lacs? One option comes from the Supreme Court itself, in it’s ruling on the 1837 Treaty case. Now PERM is asking President Donald Trump to follow through on this advice. In a letter that was hand-delivered to the White House!
President Trump can make an Executive Order ending the 1837 Treaty’s temporary (“at the pleasure of the President”) harvest rights. The original Presidential Order to do so in 1850 was considered by the Court to be deficient as written. Yet such an Order was considered to be entirely within President Taylor, or now President Trump’s, prerogative to make.
A Minnesota Outdoor News editorial on PERM’s Letter to Pres. Trump called it an “unprecedented step … that’s needed if [we] wish to see meaningful change.” The letter and story were also published in Wisconsin Outdoor News, which covers a large part of the 1837 ceded territory.
Join us! Make sure our message is heard by donating to this campaign. You can also support PERM by mailing the Letter to the President (Download and print) with your comments and return address. Pres. Trump does not seem to be bound by convention. He may just be the President to do it!
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We are launching an updated website! The cost to upgrade always seemed too high. But a website today is the most important medium for advocacy. (After email that’s earned a place in your inbox.) It is now more user and mobile friendly and optimized for search engines. Check us out! (Tweaks still underway.) And be sure to sign up for email updates if you haven’t already.
Howard Hanson, a founding member of PERM, passed away in July. He was a tireless advocate for equal rights, warning what would happen with hunting and fishing outside of state regulations. It will take many others to make up for the loss of his time, energy, and finances.
If you support equal protection of the law, equal access to our natural resources, and property rights, consider being a volunteer, donor, or Board member for PERM. Email me at email@example.com
Keep the Facts Out in Front!
Your support helps PERM pursue the facts and expertise to stay on top of the issues. You help keep the facts out in front of the agendas and narratives that distort informed decisions. Join us! Become a Member of PERM. If you are not a current Member, we want you back! The first $25 of any donation will create/renew an annual membership.
Douglas J. Meyenburg, PERM President