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Leech Lake, Beltrami County leaders to meet

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Leech Lake, Beltrami County leaders to meet
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Leech Lake Tribal Council and Beltrami County Board plan to discuss issues Tuesday in a periodic meeting of the two governing bodies.


The meeting is 3:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave. as part of the County Board's work session.

The only other item on the work session agenda is a 3 p.m. conference call with local legislators and the 2010 session winds down to its final weeks.

There is no set agenda for the meeting with Leech Lake elected officials, a meeting which is held periodically to bring each entity up to date.

A current issue is the Leech Lake Band's study into exercising 1855 treaty rights to hunt fish and gather on off-reservation lands. In a general sense, gathering could include timber harvesting, which Beltrami County controls on county-managed lands.

Road work is planned through the Chippewa National Forest, which needs support from both Beltrami County and Leech Lake. Also, the law enforcement departments from both entities share information and are cross-deputized for response calls.

The two groups may also talk about a pilot project that has Leech Lake dealing directly with the state in human services programs. Funding for the program is in jeopardy with 2010 budget talks.

At the board's regular 5 p.m. meeting, commissioners will consider the four-year reappointment of Charlene Sturk as county recorder, effective Jan. 2.

The board will be asked to internally fill a full-time social worker vacancy.

The board will meet with Chippewa National Forest representatives to discuss the proposed federal purchase of private land. Commissioners have expressed concern over taking developable private land off the tax rolls.

The Chippewa National Forest intends to buy the land south of Blackduck and adjacent to Camp Rabideau, which CNF is refurbishing. Currently undeveloped, the land has shore land on Lake Benjamin.

Jerry Bourbonnais of the state Department of Natural Resources will brief commissioners on an effort to claim prescriptive easements on select forest access trails in Beltrami and Clearwater counties.

As timber companies sell off their lands to private individuals, many close off or obliterate forest access trails that the DNR and county land departments still need to access public lands. The prescriptive easement process would formally record those routes, making them permanent.

Commissioners will consider joining with Roseau County commissioners in a resolution that asks the DNR to petition the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce the quota of white-tail deer to be sampled for bovine tuberculosis in Permit Area 101, nearest the bovine TB area; partner with local agencies, businesses and deer-hunting enthusiasts to develop strategies to ensure that hunter-harvested deer satisfy the annuyal quota to be tested for TB; establish a pilot project to transition Permit Zone 101 from a disease management zone to a white-tail deer habitat improvement project; and, establish a white-tail deer habitat improvement work group to develop local management strategies.

Roseau County, which has most of the affected land, is concerned that the deer population available for hunting has been severely depleted as efforts continue to cull deer that may have bovine TB that could be spread to livestock.

The board's consent agenda includes county bills and warrant payment listing.

It also includes approval of an agreement between Beltrami County and the state for operation of subscriber radios on the state radio system, of a federal boat and water safety supplement grant resolution, to hire a casual boat and water deputy for the summer, and for a food service management agreement and resolution.

Commissioners will also be asked to approve a host county contract with Health Star Home Health.