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Opinion
Editorial: Forest reaches out to Leech Lake Band


"It seems fitting that as the Chippewa National Forest celebrates its 100th anniversary as a national forest, that its partners actively seek a relationship to plan for the next 100 years.

U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., got that off to a good start on Tuesday as he visited the Chippewa National Forest’s Supervisor’s Headquarters and brought along with him the Leech Lake Tribal Council.

The Chippewa National Forest is unique in that 90 percent of the Leech Lake Reservation overlays the national forest, and that its 1.6 million acres includes a number of landowners, including three counties, the state of Minnesota and private owners in addition to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Of the total, 660,000 acres is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Tribal relations with the Chippewa National Forest haven’t always been the best, as management disagreements arise. But it seems over the past year, under Forest Supervisor Rob Harper, those relationships have deepened and more consideration is being paid to the role the Leech Lake Band plays in what is its traditional lands. Needed is a level of trust, says Leech Lake Tribal Chairman George Goggleye Jr."

Get the Story:
Pioneer Editorial: A level of trust grows with CNF (The Bemidji Pioneer 5/28)
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Related Story:
Sen. Coleman told Chippewa National Forest serves as an economic driver (The Bemidji Pioneer 5/28)