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Opinion
Editorial: Chumash Tribe and county make progress


"Maybe the walls that separate many Santa Ynez Valley residents and members of the Chumash tribe are finally starting to crumble. At least that's the shared hope after tribal and Santa Barbara County officials reached a landmark agreement earlier this week.

The deal has to do with the tribe's annexation of 6.9 acres along the north side of Highway 246, across from the Chumash Casino. The annexation won federal approval recently, a decision that incurred the wrath of some valley residents, who expressed concerns that the tribe would use the land to develop more gaming facilities.

The challenge now is for all sides to take advantage of the newly forged common ground upon which to build better relations for the future. It's important that the tribe's critics fully understand the implications of sovereignty, just as it is crucial that tribal officials recognize the legitimate concerns of residents who see changes they don't like. County government must do what it can to ensure protection of the environment, while facilitating the operation of the largest business in the central part of the county.

Big progress toward those ideals was made this week."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribe, county take first step (The Santa Maria Times 2/17)

Relevant Links:
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians - http://www.santaynezchumash.org

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