Exercising Treaty Rights
4:02 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

LCO Harvest Camp Says It Will Comply With County Rules, But Won't Pack Up

Members of the Lac Court Oreilles Harvest Education and Learning Project plan to rotate in and out of the site to comply with Iron County rules. 

Lac Courte Oreilles tribal members and others have maintained a presence near a proposed iron mine since last spring.
Lac Courte Oreilles tribal members and others have maintained a presence near a proposed iron mine since last spring.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Earlier this month the Iron County Board of Supervisors gave Harvest Camp residents six business days to leave, saying they were in violation of a 14-day camping limit. 

Camp spokesperson Paul DeMain says the site will remain as it is, but longterm residents will follow the rules by leaving every two weeks for at least 24 hours. 

“Our intent, the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe Harvest Education Learning Project, and all the activities that I’m involved in – are not intended to go to Iron County to cause a confrontation in which individuals are hurt, in which there are lawsuits over unconstitutionally protected actions.  Our intent is to be there.” 

Camp organizers have maintained a presence at the site since last spring, saying they want to use and protect natural resources that could be jeopardized by a proposed iron mine. 

Lac Court Oreilles tribal members have begun to tap trees for maple sugar production, which DeMain says is an important reason for the camp’s presence.

“The minute you begin not using your treaty resources, people tend to forget that Ojibwe people have them, and try to claim them.” 

DeMain says they’re moving boiling equipment onto nearby private land, because Iron County denied a permit for sap boiling on public land.  

Meanwhile, the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe plans to obtain a scientific research permit from the DNR to allow people stay long term in the area.