LETTER ON PA QUA WONG STORAGE RESERVOIR 1916 August, 17
AMERICAN PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY
Grand Rapids, Michigan
August 17, 1916
William A. Light
Superintendent Hayward Indian School
Pa Qua Wong Storage Reservoir
In the Act of Congress, making appropriations for
the current and contingent expenses of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc.,
approved May 18, 1916, there is the following provision:
“With the consent of the Indians of the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe, to be obtained in such manner as the Secretary of the Interior may require, flowage rights on the unallotted tribal lands, and, with the consent of the allottee or their heirs of any deceased allottee and under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe, flowage rights on any allotted lands in the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation, in the state of Wisconsin, may be leased or granted for storage-reservoir purposes. The tribe, as a condition of giving its consent to the leasing or granting of flowage rights on tribal lands, and any allottee, or heir of a deceased allottee, as a condition to giving his or their consent to the leasing or granting of flowage rights on their respective allotments, may determine, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, what consideration or rental shall be received for such flowage rights, and in what manner and for what purposes such consideration or rental shall be paid or expended under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe.”
I desire to commence negotiations under the provision of the above Act, for a granting of flowage rights for storage-reservoir purposes upon the Indian Lands in Townships 40 North, Range 6, West and 40 North, Range 7, West, and upon sections 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and ten of Township 39 North, Range 7, West; sections 1 and 12 of Township 39 North, Range 8 West and sections 13, 24, 25, 35 and 36 of Township 40 North, Range 8 West.
I am enclosing herewith a map showing the contour of the proposed reservoir, from which you will observe the Indian lands in Township 40 North, Range 6 West, and Township 40 North, Range 7 West, will be almost completely overflowed if the purposed storage reservoir is constructed and the Indian lands in other townships will not be very much affected. I am enclosing also a map of Sawyer County, Wisconsin, from which you will observe that only a comparatively small portion of the Indian reservation will be affected by the storage reservoir.
This storage reservoir will be operated to produce a uniform flow of water in the Chippewa River and will be constructed either by the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company, which has power to condemn lands for storage reservoirs under section 1777-a Wisconsin Statutes; or Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company, which has the power to condemn lands under Chapter 640, Wisconsin Session Laws, 1911. Either of these companies, proceeding under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1901, 31 Stats. page 1084, which provides:
“Lands allotted in severalty to Indians may be condemned for any public purpose under the laws of the State or Territory where located in the same manner as lands owned in fee may be condemned, and money awarded as damages paid to the allottee.”
may condemn flowage rights upon Indian allotments as was done in the case of Great Western Power Company; 42 Public Lands Decisions, page 4, but it is our desire to make such an agreement with the Indians that they will be substantially benefited as well as ourselves by the carrying out of this public improvement, and we desire to cooperate with the Indian Department in accomplishing this result.
We are willing to pay cash at this time for a grant of flowage rights, but it seems more to be desired from the standpoint of the Indians that a continuous income shall result from the grant, we will glad to negotiate for grants providing for the payment of annual rental so long as the grant shall continue in effect or we will undertake to obtain for the Indians as good lands as those upon which we obtain flowage rights and have them made exempt from taxes by an act of the Wisconsin Legislature.
I will appreciate it very much if you will advise me as soon as you conveniently can what course or procedure we should adopt to commence these negotiations.