Clearwater County: Potlatch Land to go to White Earth Tribe
The Potlatch land will not be put in trust with the federal government, but will go to White Earth Nation with stipulations, the Clearwater County Board of Commissioners concluded.
In a recent work meeting May 31, Chairman Neal Illies said the Lessard-Sams bill discussed was passed. The $2.1 million Lessard-Sams funds will go to the White Earth tribe to purchase 2,034 acres of Potlatch land with three conditions:
- All curent accesses are to remain open.
- The public will be able to hunt and fish in seasons.
- The land cannot be put in any trust.
If these conditions are not met, the land will revert back to the state as per the statute.
The funds are part of a $5.18 million appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature for essential Tribal programs.
The land was once part of the White Earth Reservation but was sold off long ago to private interests. The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council has recommended supporting the White Earth Nation’s proposed project to use the state Legacy Amendment sales tax dollars to protect the land, the Star Tribune reported.
The owners will pay the Clearwater County taxes every year.