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Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Wisconsin

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A 30-year dispute over use of a road ended in amicable agreement between the tribe, the Town of Lac du Flambeau and four property owners. Marlands Lane, an access road within the reservation, was subject of a long-standing controversy over ownership of the land.

The town, believing it had jurisdiction, improved and taxed the road. The tribe, claiming ownership, insisted it never granted any right-of-way and sought agreement for use as required under federal and tribal law. When it was determined to be tribal land, the dispute advanced to compensation for past, present and future use. In exchange for a one-time payment, the tribe will grant right of way to the town for use as a public road after the agreement is approved by the BIA.

The town has agreed to assign t the BIA, for benefit of the tribe, a right-of-way over approximately 3 miles of road in downtown Lac du Flambeau, as well as Sugarbush Trail. "Jurisdiction over our land is important to our sovereignty," the tribe's Henry "Butch" St. Germaine said, adding hopefully all parties can move forward "knowing we can solve our differences to make our community a better place for all people who reside within reservation boundaries."

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