Iron County To Negotiate With, Not Charge, LCO Over Harvest Camp


The Iron County Board unanimously voted Tuesday night to postpone seeking criminal or civil charges against the Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp in the Penokees.

The county will instead enter into negotiations with the tribe.

After speaking with county attorneys, Iron County Board Chair Joe Pinardi says both parties are heading back to the table to hash things out: “We’re looking forward to resolving the situation.”

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The county moved to press charges against the Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp after they discovered camp organizers did not have the right permit. Pinardi says the county did so after the state told them Iron County was in violation of county forest land law and at risk of losing state money.

LCO tribal vice chairman Rusty Barber says he’s happy with the county’s decision. “On behalf of Lac Courte Oreilles, we’re going to adhere to traditional use and obviously we’re going to negotiate with that.”

The potential eviction of the Harvest Camp drew around 50 people to Tuesday night’s meeting, including Diane Daulton of Gurney. She says both sides need to respect tribal treaty rights and each other. “Respect is a key thing that we need to bear in mind, [both] in the future… and maybe even today.”

But county board member Jim Lambert says the Harvest Camp isn’t a treaty rights issue. Lambert says it’s all about Gogebic Taconite’s proposed open pit iron ore mine. “You guys want to protest the mine in that way – God bless you.”

Pinardi says negotiations between county and tribal attorneys are expected to begin within the next two weeks.