Engler Praises Sen. Abraham's Efforts Resulting in $2 Million for Great
Lakes Fishing Agreement with Indian Tribes
John Truscott (517) 335-6397
Governor John Engler today praised Michigan U.S. Senator Spencer
Abraham for his work in procuring $2 million, from the U.S.
Interior Department's General Fund, in payments to Michigan Indian
tribes as part of the settlement reached on Great Lakes fishing in August.
Sen. Abraham also received a commitment from the federal government to
provide an additional $6.25 million by the 2002 Fiscal Year.
"Thanks to Senator Abraham's efforts, $2 million from the
federal government will be used to implement the Great Lakes Fishing
Settlement," said Governor Engler. "His work means this
agreement - which is vital for the protection of fishery resources in
Michigan - will result in the rehabilitation of lake trout and protect
and enhance Michigan's multi-billion dollar sport fishing
The agreement signed on Aug. 7 requires the state to provide tribes
with trap net vessels and equipment in a voluntary exchange for tribal
gill net tugs. This exchange will result in the removal of as much as
15 to 18 million feet of gill nets. The federal funds will be used to
provide access for tribal fishermen, as well as law enforcement,
biological assessment and fisheries research.
The State of Michigan has already spent $14 million to cover its
obligations, and has appropriated $17 million in this fiscal year for
settlement purposes. The federal contribution is a critical component of
the agreement, which would have been voided without this additional
The following parties are part of the August 7 settlement:
- Bay Mills Indian Community
- Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians;
- Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians;
- Little River Band of Ottawa Indians;
- Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians;
- The State of Michigan; and
- The United States of America