TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — An American Indian farmer is suing the state of Michigan over its ban of exotic hogs that it says are escaping from hunting preserves and causing environmental damage.
Brenda Turunen is a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and has farmed for 23 years near the reservation in Baraga County. She and her husband say they’ve developed a breed of swine called the “Hogan hog” that can withstand harsh Upper Peninsula weather.
It resembles Eurasian boars that are among types targeted by the state.
A federal suit filed this week says the Department of Natural Resources has no authority to regulate tribal farmers under a 19th-century treaty. It seeks an order to stop what it says is DNR harassment of the Turunen operation.
The DNR declined to comment.