Guide to the Larry Leventhal LCO-​NSP Legal Papers,​ 1920-​1986

Last Updated

Overview of the Collection

Special Collections & Archives
McIntyre Library
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
P.O.  Box 4004
105 Garfield Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54702 – 4004
(715) 836-2739

Reference Code: USGZE UHC 335

Accession Number: 10-021

Collection Number: University Historical Collection 335

Creators: Leventhal, Larry

Title: Larry Leventhal Lac Courte Oreilles-Northern States Power Legal Papers, 1920-1986.

Dates: 1920-1986

Quantity: 7 linear feet (7 record cartons)

Location of Collection: A9/1e-g

Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Summary: Larry Leventhal was one of the legal representatives of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin during a series of legal proceedings between the tribe and the Northern States Power Company during the 1970s and 1980s. The series includes Leventhal’s own files as well as federal and state records pertaining to the trials.

Biographical / Historical Note

The legal proceedings between the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian tribe, represented by Larry Leventhal and others, and the Northern States Power Company (NSP) in the 1970s to 1980s were based on a license granted to the power company (at that time the Wisconsin-Minnesota Power and Light Company) in 1921. In the early 20th century, the WMP&LC was seeking a site to build a dam along the Chippewa flowage. The prospective dam was not to produce power but instead supply a steady flow of water to hydroelectric dams downstream and control flooding. The company chose an area close to Winter, Wisconsin, but with further study it became clear that the nearby Lac Courte Oreilles reservation would lose land due the flooding caused by the dam. When the company sought permission to flood the land, the tribe repeatedly stated that the land that would be lost (including the reservation’s town, school, many residential homes and burial grounds) was too meaningful and turned the company down in 1916 and 1919. In 1920, the Federal Water Power Act was passed, which created the Federal Power Commission (FPC). The FPC was given the right to grant licenses for projects like reservoirs, even on reservation land. In early 1921, the power company applied for a license to build the Winter Dam. Even with a public hearing in which reservation residents spoke strongly against the dam and despite the fact that the proposed dam would break several treaties between the tribe and the United States government, License 108 was granted on August 8, 1921. License 108 allowed WMP&LC to build the dam and lease the land on the reservation that was to be flooded for 50 years. In return, the company was required to build a new town for the reservation and replace all residential buildings lost due to flooding. Additionally, the company was ordered to move any burial grounds to areas that would not be flooded, restock fish in the Flowage and reseed wild rice that would be lost. 

In 1934, the passing of the Reorganization Act allowed American Indian reservations to regulate the use of their lands. As the 50 year license expired in 1971, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe wanted to exert their power to do so and prevent a renewal of the license. The tribe insisted that they had never given permission for the dam to be built and that company had not met many of the requirements stipulated by the original license. It was argued that the rebuilt town, called New Post, was not equivalent to the reservation’s previous settlement and many of the new structures that the company built to replace flooded property were meager. In addition, the company failed to move all the burial grounds that were flooded, the fish population was depleted, and, most important, the wild rice that was both economically and spiritually important to the tribe was wiped out. Due to annual “draw downs,” or the changing of water levels used to control flooding downstream, the wild rice that was seeded by the company failed to survive. Therefore, the tribe argued that they had never agreed to the construction dam and when Project 108 was licensed regardless of tribal objections they did not receive appropriate compensation. 

In 1971, as NSP pursued a license renewal, the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe filed a lawsuit against the company demanding that the national government should “reclaim” the project and give control of reservation land back to the tribe. Larry Leventhal of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was one of the lawyers hired by the tribe. Public and formal hearings were held by the FPC in August 1973, but no official decision was made. Over the course of the next decade the legal cases continued between the tribe and power company, while many politicians, federal organizations and environmentalists argued on behalf of the tribe. In 1984, after numerous studies on the reservation land and dam, a final settlement was reached between the tribe and the power company. The lease on the flooded land was renewed for NSP, and they were allowed 10 to 15 feet of draw down each year, much less than previously permitted. In return, the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe was paid $500,000 and given 3,000 acres of land (including land adjacent to the dam) by the company. The tribe was also given the right to build a hydroelectric power plant on the land and sell the power generated by the dam to NSP. 

Content Description

The collection includes legal files that Larry Leventhal accrued over the course of the legal cases between the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe and Northern States Power. The papers are divided to 6 series: Correspondence; Testimony, Exhibits and Supporting Evidence; Legal Briefs and Petitions; Federal Power Commission Hearing Records; Hydroelectric Development Project; and Settlement.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Donated to the University Archives and Special Collections, University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire by Larry Martin of the American Indian Studies Department. 

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions: Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Copyright not owned by the University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire.

Preferred Citation: Larry Leventhal Lac Courte Oreilles-Northern States Power Legal Papers, 19201986. UHC 335. Special Collections & Archives.  McIntyre Library.  University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire. Eau Claire, WI.

Processing Note: Processed by Andrea Stepanik in November 2009.

Arrangement: By series.


Personal Names: Leventhal, Larry

Corporate Names:
Northern States Power Company
Wisconsin-Minnesota Power and Light Company

Subject Terms:
Ojibwa Indians—Government relations.
Ojibwa Indians—Treaties.
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.
Indian reservations—Wisconsin.
Indians of North America—Wisconsin.

Geographical Terms:
Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation (Wis.)
Winter Dam (Winter, Wis.)

Detailed List of Contents

Series 1: Correspondence

Series contains correspondence pertaining to Leventhal’s work with the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe. The files include general correspondence with parties participating in the legal case and letters written by Leventhal on behalf of the Lac Courte Orielles tribe. Also included is correspondence pertaining to the development of settlement proposals, a management plan for the flowage and the hydroelectric development project.

Dates: 1972-1984

Extent: 1 linear foot (1 record carton)




Box/Folder 2/1-2/2



Box/Folder 2/3, 5/14



Box/Folder 2/4


July-December 1973

Box/Folder 2/9, 7/9



Box/Folder 3/5

Management Plan Deficiency Correspondence


Box/Folder 3/10-3/11

Correspondence – Hydroelectric Power Development


Box/Folder 5/2

Correspondence –Settlement Proposals


Box/Folder 5/5



Box/Folder 5/15



Box/Folder 5/16



Box/Folder 5/20

Certificates of Service

1975, 1982

Box/Folder 7/13

Correspondence to and on behalf of LCO Tribe


Box/Folder 7/16

Correspondence – Final Settlement


Box/Folder 7/19



Series 2: Testimony, Exhibits and Supporting Evidence

Series contains direct testimony and exhibits from the various organizations involved in the legal proceedings surrounding the Winter Dam and NSP Project 108. Also included are appraisals of land on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation, maps of the affected areas, copies of federal legislation pertaining to the case, studies on management of the flowage and development of a hydroelectric plant, and newspaper clippings. 

Dates: 1920-1983

Extent: 2 linear feet (2 record cartons)




Box/Folder 1/1

Appraisal map and photos of LCO property


Box/Folder 1/2

Appraisal of Chippewa Flowage Lands – LCO Reservation


Box/Folder 1/5

1921 License Documents 

ca. 1921

Box/Folder 1/6

Maps – LCO Reservation, Northern Wisconsin and Chequamegon National Forest 

ca. 1975

Box/Folder 1/9

US Federal Power Commission Reports

August 1969

Box/Folder 1/10

NSP Application for Project 108 License Renewal

February 18, 1970

Box/Folder 1/11

Chippewa Flowage Investigation Progress Report – Upper Great Lakes Regional Commission

February 1972

Box/Folder 1/12

Chippewa Flowage Investigations Part 1: Summary Report

June 1972

Box/Folder 1/13

Chippewa Flowage Investigations Part 3A-3BAppendixes

June 1972

Box/Folder 1/14

US FPC Federal Power Act


Box/Folder 1/15

Guide for Managing National Forests in the Lake States

August 1975

Box/Folder 1/16

FPC Project 108 Approval and LCO Tribe Constitution copies

ca. 1920-1948

Box/Folder 2/5

Miscellaneous Testimony

ca. 1973

Box/Folder 2/6

Testimony on behalf of LCO Tribe

ca. 1973

Box/Folder 3/4

Manual for Calculating the Capacity of a Lake for Development


Box/Folder 3/9

Bill – “Chippewa Flowage Take Over Act of 1981”


Box/Folder 3/14

FPC Direct Testimony Notes


Box/Folder 3/16

Draft Reply to FPC Letter Concerning Flowage Management


Box/Folder 3/18

Excerpts in Support of Tribe – Hearings, Newspapers

1921, 1937, 1971-1974

Box/Folder 3/21

Project 108 Chronology and License Copy 


Box/Folder 3/22

Wild Rice Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact


Box/Folder 3/23

Alpha Smaby – NSP Public Director Candidate


Box/Folder 3/24

Northland College AIS Program


Box/Folder 3/25

LOC Hydrologic Study


Box/Folder 3/31

Testimony for LOC

ca. 1975-1977

Box/Folder 3/33

LOC Ojibwa 2415 Claims Investigation Report


Box/Folder 5/3

LOC Land Appraisals


Box/Folder 5/4

Testimony – Lyman
Williamson and Roy Tull


Box/Folder 5/6

Return of the Chippewa Land Paper

ca. 1971

Box/Folder 5/7

Statement of Harrison Loesch - policies for energy resources on public lands


Box/Folder 5/8

Indian Land Ownership Rights – Paper and Senate Records


Box/Folder 5/12

Studies on various aspects of Chippewa Flowage management


Box/Folder 5/13

Case summaries and position statements

ca. 1974-1976

Box/Folder 5/17

US Geological Survey on Chippewa Flowage


Box/Folder 5/18

Testimony for NSP

ca. 1971-1973

Box/Folder 5/21

Dept. of Indian Affairs & LOC Press Releases

1971, 1973

Box/Folder 5/23

FPC Hearing Testimony

ca. 1973

Box/Folder 5/24

Ecological Aspects of Chippewa Reservoir –Potential Rice Production


Box/Folder 5/25

US Dept. of Agriculture Response to Project 108


Box/Folder 5/26

FPC Environmental Expert Testimony


Box/Folder 5/27

Testimony on behalf of NSP

ca. 1971-1974

Box/Folder 5/28

Testimony – Hayward Area Residents & Save the Chippewa Flowage Alliance

ca. 1973

Box/Folder 5/29

Testimony – Environmental and Economic Impact of Project 108

ca. 1973-1974

Box/Folder 5/30

Testimony – LOC tribe members and cultural impact of Project 108

ca. 1973-1974

Box/Folder 5/31

NSP Company Background & Project 108 Management History


Box/Folder 5/32

Grounds for the recapture of the Chippewa Flowage

ca. 1971-1975

Box/Folder 5/33

Newspaper Clippings


Box/Folder 6/3

Analysis of Claims of LOC against NSP

Sept. 22, 1983

Box/Folder 6/10

Chippewa Flowage–Project 108 Investigation Maps

June 1972

Box/Folder 7/1-7/2

Direct testimony & exhibits of witnesses for NSP


Box/Folder 7/3-7/4

Direct testimony & exhibits of witnesses for the LCO


Box/Folder 7/5

FPC Staff Expert Testimony


Box/Folder 7/7

Chippewa Flowage Land Appraisal Consultant Foresters Report


Box/Folder 7/12

Regional EPA Commission Letter to FPC and Objections in Response


Box/Folder 7/15

Documents and Resolutions to support LCO case

ca. 1976

Series 3: Legal Briefs and Petitions

Series contains legal briefs and petitions filed by various parties over the duration of the legal proceedings. The briefs provide background information on the case, parties involved, flowage management and Winter Dam. Each brief presented by the Lac Courte Oreilles, Northern States Power or the Federal Power Commission portray their argument for or against the renewal of License 108 and responses to briefs presented by other participants.

Dates: 1968-1982

Extent: 1 linear foot (1 record carton)




Box/Folder 1/8

FPC Hearing Reply Briefs from LCO and FPC Staff


Box/Folder 2/7

FPC Hearing Initial Brief of LCO Tribe and Secretary of the Interior

March 1977

Box/Folder 2/8

Miscellaneous FPC Hearing Briefs


Box/Folder 2/10

Brief of LCO Tribe - Petition Against NSP


Box/Folder 2/11

FPC Hearing Briefs of LCO Tribe


Box/Folder 2/12-2/13

FPC Hearing Briefs of NSP

1973-1974, 1978

Box/Folder 2/14

FPC Brief of NSP – Project 108 Reopened Proceedings


Box/Folder 2/15-2/16

FPC Briefs of Commission Staff


Box/Folder 3/17

FPC and NSP Response to LOC Appeals


Box/Folder 3/19

LOC Reply Briefs


Box/Folder 3/26

FPC Briefs and Opinion Statements


Box/Folder 3/28

Petitions to the FPC


Box/Folder 3/29-3/30

FPC Briefs of various parties


Box/Folder 5/1

Early Hearing Briefs and Orders


Box/Folder 5/10

LOC Response Brief to Draft Environmental Impact Statement 


Box/Folder 5/11

Briefs of LOC and NSP on Recapture of Project 108


Box/Folder 5/20

Certificates of Service

1975, 1982

Series 4: Federal Power Commission Hearing Records

Series contains the official stenographer’s transcripts of hearings held in Washington, D.C. before the FPC in regard to NSP Project 108. Dates: 1921-1976

Extent:  1.5 linear feet (2 record cartons)




Box/Folder 3/1

Project 108 – NSP Hearings Index


Box/Folder 3/2

FPC Public Hearings Summaries


Box/Folder 3/3

Public Hearing on Dam Construction

May 17, 1921

Box/Folder 4

Volume 6

September 13, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 8

September 17, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 9

September 18, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 11

September 20, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 12

September 21, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 13

September 24, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 14

September 25, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 18

October 12, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 19

October 15, 1973

Box/Folder 4

Volume 25-26

January 31-February 1, 1974

Box/Folder 4

Volume 27-28

February 4-5, 1974

Box/Folder 4

Volume 29

April 22, 1974

Box/Folder 4

Volume 33

December 1, 1976

Box/Folder 4/1

Volume 35

December 3, 1976

Box/Folder 4

Volume 36

December 6, 1976

Box/Folder 4

Volume 37

December 7, 1976

Box/Folder 6

 Volume 38

December 8, 1976

Box/Folder 6

Volume 39

December 9, 1976

Box/Folder 6

Volume 40

December 10, 1976

Box/Folder 6

Volume 41

December 13, 1976

Box/Folder 6

Volume 42

December 14, 1976

Box/Folder 6

Volume 43

December 16, 1976

Series 5: Hydroelectric Development Project

Series contains documents pertaining to the Hydroelectric Development Project at the Winter Dam. Included are various studies performed to determine the feasibility of generating electricity with the dam, construction plans and agreements between NSP and the Lac Courte Oreilles in regard to the project. Dates: 1972-1986

Extent: .5 linear feet (1 record carton)




Box/Folder 3/12

LCO Hydroelectric Development Project


Box/Folder 3/20

Power Sale Contract Drafts


Box/Folder 6/11

Invitation to Fund LCO Hydroelectric Project

ca. 1983

Box/Folder 6/12

Chippewa Reservoir Hydroelectric Development Feasibility Study

May 5, 1982

Box/Folder 6/13

Mead and Hunt Engineering Project Qualifications

ca. 1982

Box/Folder 6/14

US Dept. of Energy Financing of Small Hydroelectric Projects


Box/Folder 6/15

LOC and NSP Joint Application for Hydroelectric License Exemption


Box/Folder 6/16

Hydrologic Study Draft –Chippewa Flowage Project

August 1, 1972

Box/Folder 6/17

Hydrologic Study – Chippewa Flowage Project and Hydro plant  blueprint

July 1973

Box/Folder 7/10

Hydroelectric Development Studies


Box/Folder 7/18

Development of LCO Power Project


Series 6: Settlement

Series contains drafts and final copies of the settlement reached between the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe and Northern States Power. Also included are draft and final copies of the Chippewa Flowage environmental statement and other agreements relevant to the management of the Chippewa Flowage.

Dates: 1971-1985

Extent: 1 linear foot (1 record carton)




Box/Folder 1/3

Chippewa Project 108 Supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement


Box/Folder 1/4

Chippewa Flowage Management Plan


Box/Folder 1/7

Chippewa Reservoir – Project 108 Environmental Impact Statement


Box/Folder 3/6

Proposed Settlement Terms


Box/Folder 3/7

Draft Sales Agreement and Correspondence


Box/Folder 3/8

LOC Response to Initial Draft Agreement


Box/Folder 3/13

Proposed Settlement Recommendations


Box/Folder 3/15

Draft Environmental Statement


Box/Folder 3/27

Development of Environmental Impact Statement and Flowage Management Plan


Box/Folder 3/32

Draft Settlement Proposals

ca. 1981-1983

Box/Folder 5/9

Wisconsin DNR Resolution to protect land in settlement proposal


Box/Folder 5/19

Ecological Impact Statements & Organizations

ca. 1975-1982

Box/Folder 5/22

Proposed Settlements from NSP and Wisconsin DNRLOC Response


Box/Folder 6/1

FPC Staff Draft Environmental Impact Statement

April 1973

Box/Folder 6/2

FPC Staff Final Environmental Impact Statement

August 1973

Box/Folder 6/4

Chippewa Flowage Land & Water Resources Management Plan


Box/Folder 6/5

Chequamegon National Forest Plan and Draft Environmental Statement

1972, 1985

Box/Folder 6/6

Chequamegon National Forest Proposed Management Plan

ca. 1985

Box/Folder 6/7

Chequamegon National Forest Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix

ca. 1985

Box/Folder 6/8

Chequamegon National Forest Draft Environmental Impact Statement

ca. 1985

Box/Folder 6/9

Chequamegon National Forest Management and Environmental Statement Maps


Box/Folder 7/6

Chippewa Reservoir Settlement Agreement


Box/Folder 7/8

Draft and Final LCO Resolutions


Box/Folder 7/11

Leventhal comments on Draft Flowage Management Plan


Box/Folder 7/14

LCO Settlement Proposal Development

ca. 1981-1982

Box/Folder 7/17

Final Agreement