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Iron County Board delays vote on tribal protesters removal

HURLEY, Wis. (WTAQ) - The Iron County Board has again delayed the removal of a tribal mining protest camp from county forest land.  

The matter was taken off the agenda for Tuesday night's County Board meeting in Hurley.  

Clerk Mike Saari said the county's insurance company wanted up to 30 days to review the issue before the Board does anything.  

The camp has had up to 30 wigwams with members opposed to the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine nearby.  

In July, the Board's Forestry Committee recommended civil and criminal charges against members of the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian tribe, for keeping their camp on county forest land longer than their permit called for.  

At the time, supervisors decided to negotiate with the tribe. Last week, the forestry panel called for an eviction of the site.  

The tribe's Paul DeMain said the camp is doing valuable research -- and Lac Courte Oreilles members are exercising their centuries-old treaty rights to hunt and gather food on off-reservation lands.  

Saari said the proposed eviction could come up in January.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)