Issues and Participants in the Controversy over Recapture of the Chippewa Flowage
Schultz, Marc A.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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The Chippewa Flowage is a fifty-five year old Federal Power Commission licensed reservoir in northern Wisconsin. Licensee Northern States Power Company has applied for a new license. A portion of the project lies within the Lac Court Oreilles Indian Reservation and is adjacent to the Chequamegon National Forest. Some Indians and some environmentalists want Federal ownership through recapture pursuant to the Federal Water Power Act of 1935. Environmental preservation and justice for the Indian are stated reasons for recapture. All agree the area should be preserved as a wild recreational resource. This study investigated issues and the resource plus suggests management alternatives. All levels of government must cooperate to meet management needs. Shoreline erosion, a major issue, is not serious. Quality access is necessary to maintain the wild character of the resource. Solitude is a great asset of wild areas. Management of the Chippewa Flowage should preserve solitude and wildlife values. Recapture will not assure preservation of the Chippewa Flowage or correct the causes of injustice to the Indian. Further study is necessary for informed decisions on Flowage management. Northern States Power Company should be relicensed provided license provisions specify environmentally sound management.