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Judicial Allocation of Fishery Resources in Northern Wisconsin

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Spangler, George
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/236
Sector: Fisheries
Region: North America
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources--case studies
allocation rules
indigenous institutions
Chippewa (North American people)
Abstract: "This paper examines the fishery management consequences of litigation between Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Indians et al. and the State of Wisconsin in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (hereafter, Lac Courte Oreilles et al. vs State of Wisconsin, or, LCO). The case is important as a study in co-management because the court explicity rejected the notion of 'dual management authority,' yet the management provisions accepted by the court require nothing less than intensive discourse and cooperation between tribal entities and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). Also of interest is the court's final allocation of 50 percent of the harvestable resources to Indians and 50 percent to non-Indians, in spite of its earlier determination that the Chippewa were entitled to utilize the resources up to a level that would provide a "modest or moderate standard of living." The court-sanctioned procedures for assessing the status of fishery resources and the rules applied to subsequently allocate harvestable fish to tribal and non-Indian fishers overshadow in control and complexity and other freshwater fishery management in the country. In spite of this complexity, it is clear from the latest decade of experience in Wisconsin that tribal participants in the fishery harvest only a small fraction of the fish to which they are entitled."

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