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Access to disputed roads in Lac du Flambeau extended for another month

Ross Allen Lake Road
Beth Tornes
Ross Allen Lake Road

Access will remain open for another month on four roads in Lac du Flambeau which had been blocked this winter in a dispute caused by expired easements.

A post on the Town of Lac du Flambeau website indicated the town chairman had delivered a check to the Lac du Flambeau tribe to continue Temporary Easement Permits to July 12th.

The easements expired about a decade ago but the town and the tribe have not been able to come to terms on renewing them.

Tribal council members in January voted to barricade the roads, permitting the homeowners to use the roads only to get food, prescriptions, propane and other services.

An agreement for temporary access permits went into effect in mid-March, but that was set to expire this week before the payment for another 30 day permit was made.

Legal action has been ongoing in the case.

The property owners had sued the tribal council in federal court in February, asking U.S. District Judge William Conley to force the tribe to remove the barricades.

Conley indicated last Wednesday that he likely won't block the tribe from blocking roads on its reservation while non-tribal property owners pursue a lawsuit against the band.

He said the tribe doesn't have to allow anyone to use their roads.

Conley promised he would issue a written opinion soon denying the injunction. In the meantime, he urged all the parties to negotiate an amicable settlement.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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