DNR Temporarily Defuses Treaty Rights Challenge Involving Wild Rice
NISSWA, Minn. (AP) — Leaders of a protest harvest of wild rice say their fight isn't over despite a move by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to defuse their treaty rights challenge.
Supporters of the 1855 Treaty Authority gathered at Hole-in-the-Day Lake in Nisswa Thursday to harvest wild rice without state licenses to try to assert rights they contend they hold under the agreement.
But the DNR issued a special one-day permit for the harvest, averting the need to issue citations that could have led to a court challenge.
Frank Bibeau, a lawyer for the 1855 Treaty Authority, says many of them will return Friday to harvest again.
The DNR's enforcement chief, Col. Ken Soring, says conservation officers will stand ready Friday to prosecute anyone who gathers wild rice off-reservation without a license.