Harvest Camp Fate Rests in Today's Decision
For the Lac Courtes Oreilles Band of Ojibwe, today will play an important role in the LCO Harvest Camp which has been set up as a peaceful and educational protest to the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mining site in Northern Wisconsin.
According to the Wisconsin Reporter, today the Iron County Forestry will meet with lawyers of the LCO Harvest Camp to discuss the LCO’s long-term camping plans.
“This camp is our foothold,” Gasper said in the Reporter, sitting on one of the 20 or so chairs scattered about the camp. “I’m not only here representing our tribe. I’m representing the whole Ojibwe Nation. Without this camp, basically we’ve got no place to fight from.”
Iron County’s decision to have a meeting coincides with it’s move that appears to retract an earlier agreement to allow members of the Penokee Harvest Camp an extended permit to camp. Last week Iron County legal counsel Michael Pope said the camp exceeded the two-week limit for such gatherings.
As reported by Indian Country Today Media Network, Harvest Camp spokesperson Paul DeMain indicated that if necessary all tents at the camp could be taken down every 14 days for at least an hour and set back up to comply with Iron County requirements. RELATED: Who is Illegal in Wis. Mining Country? Harvest Camp or GTAC?
Another interesting aspect to the mining situation in the Penokee Hills that the Reporter addressed is the right for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to set its own water quality standards, allowing the tribe to control water pollution from off-reservation sources that could affect their territory. The United States Environmental Protection Agency granted the tribe this authority in October, and the action could give the tribe a major legal tool as the Reporter states.