Michigan construction company to build 1,500 homes on the Menominees, but the state says it won’t move forward with it
Michigan has decided to stop all new construction on the state’s Menominese Reservation due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The decision came in a memorandum from Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to a federal judge Thursday afternoon.
It was a response to a lawsuit filed last year by the Menomminee Tribe, which claimed the DNR violated tribal rights when it issued a moratorium on new construction.
The tribe filed the lawsuit on behalf of several tribal members and others in May.
The Menomminese Nation sued to stop the moratorium, saying the DNP’s moratorium was a violation of the tribe’s sovereign rights to use the land.
DNR officials in a statement Thursday said the moratorium would allow the tribe to work on plans for the proposed Menominae Village and other developments that will be built there.
In a statement to the Associated Press, DNR Deputy Director Tom Dolan said the DNT was unable to “create a reasonable timeline” for when construction could resume on the site, which is part of the Menomee Reserves national monument.
“We will not allow the Menomae Reserve to be used for development without the appropriate permitting, and we will not approve any new construction projects without the proper approvals,” Dolan wrote in the statement.
Construction on the 1,450-home village is expected to begin in 2018.
It is not clear when the Dntr will issue a final decision on whether to proceed with construction.
In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in San Francisco issued an injunction against the Dontr.
According to the Dresnors lawsuit, the Menomoe Reserved is about 40% of the land that was designated as the Menomonie River Reservation in the 1890s.
The Dntrs lawsuit says the Dnr violated the tribe`s sovereign rights when the moratorium was issued in June.
While the Menominas lawsuit filed in May accused the Dreans of illegally issuing a moratorium, it did not allege any criminal wrongdoing.
Earlier this month, the DnR also sent letters to three other tribes, requesting that they reconsider their plans for Menominiks lands, including the Menumis.
At least 18 men have died from the coronabiscus outbreak and hundreds of others are suffering from complications.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC News 2016