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Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Wisconsin [LCO-Timber]

758 F. Supp. 1262 (1991)

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Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Wisconsin [LCO-Timber]

United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

758 F. Supp. 1262 (1991)

Facts

The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and other members of the Chippewa community (collectively, the tribe) (plaintiff) historically used the trees on their lands for various purposes, such as using sap to make syrup. In two nineteenth-century treaties, the tribe reserved the right to use the trees on lands that were later ceded from the reservation. The tribe sought to engage in commercial timber harvesting, which was prohibited by the State of Wisconsin (the state) (defendant). The tribe brought suit in federal district court. Evidence was presented showing that the tribe had no history of timber harvesting, including at the time of the treaties. The court found in favor of the state, upholding the prohibition against timber harvesting as applied to the tribe. The tribe later moved for reconsideration.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Crabb, C.J.)

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