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White Earth won't enforce water permits on non-tribal land

The band said a more comprehensive approach is needed to protect water in the area

A water rights fight in northern Minnesota has been put on hold, for now.

The White Earth Band of Chippewa has announced it won't try to enforce water permits on non-tribal farmers who irrigate land immediately outside the reservation. The tribe said it will still require the permits for anyone to install a new high-capacity well on reservation land.

The move comes as the band is increasingly concerned about water use in the area, as more and more forest has been cut down to make room for potato fields and row crops. The band announced last year that it would require some of the heaviest water users within 5 miles of the reservation to get a permit from the tribe in addition to any state permits required.


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