Northern Wisconsin Mining

LCO to Establish Harvest Camp at Penokee Hills

Lac Courte Oreilles will establish a harvest camp at Old Plummer Camp Village off Moore Park Road in the Penokee Hills three miles east of the Ashland/Iron County line along the south side of Highway 77.

The Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest and Educational Camp is on county land and covered by ceded territory hunting, fishing and harvesting rights. The entire titled region that Gogebic Taconite (Gtac), RGGS, LaPointe Mining owns on the 22 mile ore deposit is enrolled in the State Forest Management Tax Credit program and is therefore guided by state agreements with the tribes regarding harvesting. Check with your tribal conservation department about harvesting permits. Some sections on the west end are in national forest lands, and others in Iron County are entirely surrounded by county lands.

The camp will be overseen by several LCO harvesters organized loosely by Melvin Gasper and Felina LaPointe. Harvesting on public lands is not constrained to just treaty harvest but includes harvestable products by non-Natives as well. We will be looking to include elders and youth, school, college, AODA, language immersion, rehab and business development programs — asking the question, how can we learn about the ancient Cahokia history of the range, Ojibwe village and burial locations, and the mining that has occurred over the course of 1,200 years including the geography, topography located there. What can be harvested, from berries to iron wood and used or bartered to assist in making a moderate living as defined by courts under treaties with the Chippewa. Many of us are also descendants of past Allottees in the area. Researchers have so far located over 150 Indian Allotments on the ore deposit issued from 1858 through 1887. For example, John B. Corbin had an 80 acre allotment near Copper Falls State Park. We want to know how this land was disenfranchised from our relatives.

We are encouraging a strong LCO delegation to the Copper Falls State Park event May 24-26th and will be contributing to the feast being held there on Saturday May 25 and Sunday May 26. I emphasize that LCO people are not in charge of any other camps along the 22 mile long Penokee Range this summer, nor their security.

The main task of this LCO camp at Plummer will be to host LCO members and other guests, at their request to stay on or near the camp, or any other trail camps that LCO might set up. That will be up to those doing inventory of resources, trail blazing, archaeology work and harvesting. Several people have already requested harvesting permits for birch bark, iron wood, ginseng and other products they are identifying. LCO has declared its intent to harvest one of the nine walleye available on nearby Lake Gallilee. Deer and other hunting permits are available for the region. The LCO Camp will include a wall tent with medical supplies, kitchen, stove and cots, elder resting, maps, and work schedule. Several wigwams will be constructed in the same vicinity for use as lodging, storage of trail tents and equipment. Donation of the same materials, non-perishable goods, tents, shovels, hatchets, axes, lighting, screening, carving knives, camping bowls, etc. will be taken at both the Trading Post at LCO and the Penokee Hills Education Project offices in Ashland, Wisconsin.

For gemeral information on the Harvest Camp contact Paul DeMain at 715-634-5226 Ext.1. For camping, tribal harvesting and hunting permits for the Penokee Range continue to consult with your local conservation departments for guidance.

Head north on County Highway E from LCO casino = 2 miles
Turn right on WI 77-E = 27.7 miles to Clam Lake
Turn Left onto Co Hwy M/Co GG = 0.2
Turn Right on Co Hwy GG = 19.4 miles to Mellen, Wisconsin
About 10 miles from Clam Lake note Iron Ore Deposit on right side — this is the Western End of 22 mile long Ore Deposit
Highway GG will take you to Main Street in Mellen.
Turn Right on Main Street, then left on Lake Street/Hwy 77 East
If you stay on Lake Street, it will take you on the BACK side of the Ore Deposit and back to Hwy 77
Stay on Hwy 77 going East towards Hurley, Wisconsin for 7.5 miles
Turn Right on Moore Park Road about 3 miles after Iron/Ashland County Line
Moore Park Road goes up hill, take a right then about 1,000 feet of straight road, Camp Plummer is on right hand side before next sharp left. Going straight takes you to Tylor’s Fork.

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