LCO Camp Moves To Private Land, Bringing End To Standoff With County

Camp Is '95 Percent' Done Moving Off Of Public Land

Above, a sign at the old site of the LCO camp. Photo: Tegan Wendland/WCIJ.

The Lac Courtes Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe is moving its “harvest camp” project from public forest land to nearby private land, bringing an apparent end to the 10-month standoff between Iron County and the LCO.

LCO Harvest Education Learning Project spokesman Paul DeMain says the camp will be off public land in a week, and that there are just a few things left to move and clean up. He says it will continue to educate people about the pristine Penokee Hills and oppose the proposed iron ore mine.

“We’ll be able to do it a lot better,” said DeMain. “Iron County demanded that (the public lands) remain open, so we had to deal with individuals who were intoxicated or people like the woman named Krow who had come in and out of the camp.”

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Katie “Krow” Kloth was charged with felony for her participation in a raid by activists last summer on a mining exploratory drilling site. DeMain says he’s relieved there were no other confrontations. He credits Iron County Sheriff Tony Furyk for that.

“He’s certainly long-term sighted,” said DeMain. “He has in mind the keeping of the peace. There are members of the Iron County Forestry Department and on the Board of Supervisors who would have loved to see the confrontation.”

County Forestry Director Joe Vairus says he’s glad the conflict ended without having to forcibly evict the LCO Project. Furyk says the camp is 95 percent gone and expects they’ll be finished in a week.

He said public criticism by a few county board members who wanted LCO ejected in February doesn’t bother him: “Not at all. I’m a big boy. I’m here to keep the peace and the peace was kept. You can’t move out in a week what you put in in 11 months. It took a little bit of time and the matter’s been resolved.”

Furyk says no one has been staying at the camp for the past two weeks.