Saturday, March 17, 2012

After Self-Inflicted Failure Of Mining Bill, DNR's Stepp Takes Fresh Swipe At Ojibwe

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.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Can we first MARVEL at the irony of Stepp being upset by SURPRISE TACTICS?!!! Seriously? LOL Cath. That was a joke, right? She is ragging because tribes are not forthcoming with information? Playing hard to get?

Okay now looking at the (lame) comments on the article - resorts have been hurting for awhile now, not because of Tom Maulson, because of THE ECONOMY STUPID. Two years ago a trip farther north, the resort was literally empty. Staff was so attentive it was creepy. Like every time you moved you felt like they'd pounce on you. I had to get the hell outta there.
Remember "stay-cations" people? right? all y'all who are staying home and have been staying home for years because of the decisions of rich white guys? Cuz you lost your investments, retirement, job or house? And the kids had to move back home? Seem familiar?
Nope. Damn fish-suckin' Indians. Causin' trouble.

Plus, it's been countless times that local media and various persons have started" inquiries" in to why NW WI has higher gas prices day-in-day-out, year-in-year out than ANYONE else. People wonder aloud and in print about price-fixing but....nothing ever comes of it. Yup, I'd bet serious money none of the people commenting a.) ever come up here and b.)don't know what a fish is unless they're at long John Silver's and it has beer batter on it and a wee cup o' tartar sauce on the side.

Cathy Stepp should just drive on up and have a visit with Tom, maybe have a chat beside his giant indoor swimming pool (if he still has it). Or maybe they should schedule a series of meetings at odd locations around the state and then cancel them all. And then she can have the entire WI Assembly use copies of the treaty as window-blocking material instead of the black plastic bags, or maybe use treaties for toilet paper, whatever they find more eloquent there as they Stepp all over everyone. who can believe this crap.

Anonymous said...

This is what ALWAYS happens to bullies.

Someday somewhere sooner or later a bully is ALWAYS going to meet a bigger bad ass "bully".

When it happens it is a thing of joy to watch.

Gov. Walker and gang. Meet the Ojibwe and their treaty rights.

We tried to warn you that our "local gang" was going to whoop your butts, You really should have listen.

You should have respected the elders and their treaty.

Say What? said...

Stepp is igniting the fires of distain for the spearing tradition. I remember sitting in a boat with a fishing guide about 15 years ago in the Minocqua area and the hate expressed for the tribal tradition was extreme.

Gareth said...

Yeah, I was afraid they'd try to whip up some anti-Indian racism. It's the only game they have left.
Scapegoating is just so Tea Party.

Only problem is the Ojibwe have been doing a great job managing the lakes and the water quality, not to mention stocking the fish. The fact is they have a great working relationship with resort owners and the local communities. And the law is on their side. But Stepp is an ideological fool who doesn't know what the hell she is talking about. She behaves more like a barstool ideologue rather than the administrator of a public agency.

So go ahead, start another spear fishing war, but I can already tell you who will win it. We can't get rid of Stepp and her clique of incompetents fast enough.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, if the "D" stands for Disrespect, what could the "N" and "R" stand for?

Your Nu DNR under Walker:

Disrespect Native Rights

Why not? Walker has disrespected Wisconsin law and traditions, so why not federal rulings and even treaties, too?

Boxer said...

Anything that has the faintest whiff of common sense or decency comes as a surprise to her.