MADISON (AP) - A Wisconsin lawmaker said Tuesday he may push to reconsider a $250,000 state grant for a Lac du Flambeau cultural center after the tribe and other Chippewa bands dramatically raised their planned walleye take.
Rep. Dean Kaufert, a Republican from Neenah, accused the bands of retaliating for policy decisions by state outdoors officials and said their actions would hurt tourism industry in Wisconsin, resulting in less revenue for restaurants, bars and lodging.
The Chippewa tribes in northern Wisconsin have clashed with the Department of Natural Resources over decisions that permit wolf hunting and relaxed mining regulation. They have cited concern for the environment and said the state hasn't consulted with them.
Six tribal bands declared their intent last week to spear nearly 60,000 fish, saying the amount was consistent with their responsibilities to feed their communities. The bands' declaration is used to adjust bag limits for sport anglers, so the higher potential take means smaller bag limits.
Kaufert called the tribes' decision wrong and said it has nothing to do with environmental concerns.
Kaufert, vice chairman of the state Building Commission, said when the commission meets in April he may push to have members reconsider the grant money. The state approved it last year to help the Lac Du Flambeau Tribe build a $1.5 million Native American cultural center, the first of its kind in Wisconsin.
Tom Maulson, president of the Lac Du Flambeau Tribe, did not immediately return a phone message.
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