Environmental issues draw attention to 1854 treaty rights

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Dozens of bull moose in northeast Minnesota will likely be harvested this year during a three-gang moose hunt in Chippewa in northeast Minnesota, according to local wildlife officials.

The Lake Superior Chippewa Grand Portage Band and Chippewa Forte Wood Band will take a combined total of 20 bull moose from the approximately 5 million acres of land in the 1854 ceded territory of northeastern Minnesota, according to Seth Moore, director. biology and environmental services. for the Grand Portage fanfare. Other bull moose will also be harvested in 2021 by the Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Hunting will take place again this fall and early winter.

In more outdoor and environmental news in the area, Lutsen Mountains would like to expand by adding more skiing opportunities to the recreation area. To grow, however, that would mean using US Forest Service land. Lutsen Mountains is asking the Forest Service to consider a special use permit for the ski resort to allow it to expand.

On September 10, the US Forest Service released a draft environmental impact statement. This action opens a 45-day public comment period. After the public consultation period, the Forest Service will revise the preliminary version of the environmental impact study into a final version. The final document will be released with the selection on whether or not to authorize the expansion of the ski resort, specifically the decision of Senior National Forest Supervisor Connie Cummins whether or not to grant the Special Use Permit.

Development of the lifts, terrain and customer services offered at Lutsen Mountains would require the approval of a special use permit of approximately 495 acres on Upper National Forest land. If approved, the expansion would almost double the area of ​​the ski area of ​​the North Shore ski destination.

In drafting the environmental impact statement, the Forest Service developed a list of concerns associated with the Lutsen Mountains claim. Among the concerns is that the issuance of the Lutsen Mountains permit could reduce, prevent or eliminate tribal access to resources set aside under the 1854 treaty. The document states that “construction of the proposed projects may reduce extent and productivity of mature maple stands (maple stands), wild rice waters and hunting / fishing resources.

Joe Friedrichs of WTIP spoke with Moore about the intersection of treaty rights, the 2021 moose hunt and the possible expansion of the local ski resort.

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