Petition has PERM’s support

Outdoor News today reported on a petition that seeks a “remedy to eliminate bilateral control of” Lake Mille Lacs’ walleye management. The lake’s walleye is managed jointly by the DNR and Chippewa tribes as a result of a 1999 Supreme Court decision in the Chippewa v. Minnesota case.

The petition’s creator, Jon Knudsen, a launch boat captain at Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort, is advocating for President Trump to curb the Treaty’s harvest privileges in the 1837 ceded territory. It states that the harvest privilege “is guaranteed to the Indians, during the pleasure of the President of the United States.”

The Supreme Court concluded, “President Taylor’s 1850 Executive Order was ineffective to terminate Chippewa usufructuary rights under the 1837 treaty.”

However, Knudsen is relying on Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s opinion, in which she states, “We do not mean to suggest that a President, now or in the future, cannot revoke the Chippewa usufructuary rights in accordance with the terms of the 1837 treaty.”

Knudsen says the current system isn’t fair to state anglers and surrounding businesses. “We can’t have anything for the table, and the Indians can go out and keep 10 fish, any size,” he said. “How can you recognize the Indians’ right to fish and not our right to keep fish?”

The petition has the blessing of PERM, which has long been involved in the issues of fisheries management on Mille Lacs.

Doug Meyenburg Jr., President of PERM, said the group is “in favor of anybody doing anything positive to straighten out the situation on Mille Lacs.”

Asked if PERM itself was reaching out to the Trump administration, Meyenburg said the group is examining its options. “We are always working continually to straighten the mess out,” he said.

Knudsen, who is not a member of PERM, said he appreciates what the group has done.

“It’s a political powder keg that none of our elected officials or representatives want anything to do with,” Knudsen said, hopeful that Trump, who has rallied on lifting regulations to help businesses, could be the one modern president to get involved.

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