Tribes use speech to call for tougher CWD regulations

Gary Besaw of the Menominee Tribe delivers the annual State of the Tribes address Feb. 13, 2018, at the state Capitol in Madison. (Image courtesy WMTV-TV)

MADISON (AP) -- A Menominee Indian tribal member is asking the Wisconsin Legislature for tougher action to stop chronic wasting disease and to join the fight against a Michigan gold mine.

WATCH the full address (mobile app users tap here to watch):

Gary Besaw delivered the annual State of the Tribes speech to the Legislature on Monday. He thanked lawmakers for working on bills that would define protections for Indian burial mounds and legalize commercial hemp.

He then demanded legislators enact stronger protections to stop the spread of CWD, saying Gov. Scott Walker's hands-off approach is jeopardizing treaty rights, tourism and hunting.

He also implored legislators to work against a potential gold mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Menominee have sued to block the mine's development.

Besaw also said Republican lawmakers' decision to lift Wisconsin's sulfide mining moratorium defies common sense.

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