Bad enough that DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp spent days outside of the traditional DNR leadership's honest-broker role to lead partisan, talk-radio driven noise over the failed mining bill - - a bill written in secret that her administration's bullying, the iron mine company's tactics, and the willful ignoring of Ojibwe interests and treaty rights near the proposed mining site near Ashland all helped kill - - but is it a coincidence that Stepp has now ended her bad week by publicly stirring up anew an old, ugly fight with the Ojibwe over spearfishing?
What's to be gained from that stick-to-the-eye? Does the DNR and Stepp now operate by aggressive news release, as it did after the mining bill fiasco? Or was this a way to play to a conservative audience as the fishing season rolls around instead of educating the public on the strength and meaning of treaties and treaty rights that rise above press release verbiage?
Does the "D" in DNR now stand for "Disrespect?"
Thanks to Lee Bergquist at the Journal Sentinel for this story:
An impasse in negotiations between the Department of Natural Resources and the Lac du Flambeau band of Lake Superior Chippewa could lead to a smaller, two-walleye bag limit for nontribal anglers on many northern lakes this year...
Wisconsin tribes were to declare the number of fish they could potentially harvest Thursday.
But in recent days, DNR officials said they had grown frustrated they had not heard from the Lac du Flambeau.
That caused DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp to issue a statement Friday saying, "The appearance of a negotiating tactic of surprise is very troubling to me..."
After Stepp issued her statement, tribal President Tom Maulson called the secretary and said the Lac du Flambeau was open to negotiation.
But he told the Journal Sentinel that the DNR can't ignore the impact of millions of non-Indian anglers on walleye stocks - not just tribal members exercising their treaty rights.