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Editorial: Mechoopda Tribe wins with gaming land decision


Filed Under: California | Casino Stalker
More on: bia, land-into-trust, mechoopda
   
California newspaper welcomes Bureau of Indian Affairs decision to approve gaming land-into-trust application for the Mechoopda Tribe:
The federal government's reaffirmation of the Mechoopda Indians' right to having a few hundred acres of land held in trust — effectively, a reservation — is important for a reason that may not be obvious to many.

People look at it and ask, "Are they going to build a casino there?" The answer is maybe. Last summer the Mechoopda told this newspaper the tribe didn't have the money to pursue a casino. They'd partnered with the Stations Casino group out of Las Vegas on the plan, and it went bankrupt. It's unclear if there's a new partner in the wings.

In addition, the tribe still needs approval from the state, and the state government was one of the parties that forced the re-evaluation of the previous approval by the feds.

The Department of the Interior had decided the Mechoopda had the right to about 626 acres of land out where Highway 149 and 99 meet. Interior was told to re-evaluate because of arguments by Butte County and the state attorney general that hinged on the Byzantine twists of the laws governing Indians in their native land.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Ruling a victory for Mechoopda (The Chico Enterprise-Record 1/29)

DC Circuit Decision:
Butte County v. Hogen (July 13, 2010)

Related Stories:
BIA approves Mechoopda Tribe's gaming land acquisition (1/27)

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