indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Mohawk tribe wins approval for Catskills casino
Monday, October 6, 2003

After more than two years of deliberations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is proposing to take land into trust for the first off-reservation casino in the Catskills region of New York.

In a Federal Register notice being published today, the BIA announces its intent to acquire 66 acres for the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. The land is located hundreds of miles away from the tribe's upstate reservation but only 90 minutes north of New York City.

The decision is a win for the tribe and its partner, Park Place Entertainment, the largest casino company in the world. The tribe had previously received approval during the Clinton administration for an off-reservation casino but at a different site in the Catskills and with a different gaming firm.

The only snag is that Aurene Martin, the BIA's principal deputy assistant secretary, is requiring a more stringent environmental impact statement to be completed before the decision is finalized in January 2004. In the notice, which was signed last Wednesday, she said a draft would be available by November 1.

Gov. George Pataki (R) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), strong proponents of the casino, had been urging the BIA to accept the tribe's environmental assessment. But in the notice, Martin said that changes to the project the need for additional review.

The tribe is looking at a 450,000-square-foot casino, a 2,000-seat theater and several restaurants. Plans for a 2,000-room hotel have been pared to 700 rooms. A parking structure would be built on 141 acres of land adjacent to the 66 acres the BIA will take into trust. Overall, the project is expected to cost $500 million.

The impetus for the casino was Pataki, who successfully lobbied for the biggest expansion of gaming in New York history. In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, state lawmakers passed legislation that authorized compacts for three casinos in the Catskills.

The Akwesasne Nation, also known as the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, is the first to gain approval for a casino there. The tribe submitted its land-into-trust application in March 2001, nearly a year after dropping Catskill Development, its former partner, and signed a compact with Pataki in May of this year.

The casino is supported by the local community, which hopes gaming will restore the economically-depressed region. The tribe is expected to pay a $15 million annual fee to the local county although tribal leaders have questioned the amount.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans, based in Wisconsin, has submitted a 333-acre land-into-trust application to the BIA for what it hopes will be the second Catskills facility. The tribe doesn't have a compact, and Pataki, along with other tribes in New York, say out-of-state tribes don't have gaming rights. The tribe's partner is Trading Cove Associates, the group that launched the Mohegan Tribe's casino in Connecticut.

The Cayuga Nation of New York is also in the game. The tribe submitted a 30-acre land-into-trust application and its partner is Empire Resorts.

The Seneca Nation, which already operates one off-reservation casino and is moving forward with a second, and the Oneida Nation are interested, but have not submitted any applications, according to news reports.

According to the BIA notice, the agency is accepting public comments on the 'scope and implementation" of the draft EIS. Issues to be address would include traffic, noise, water, wetlands, social and "cumulative effects" of the casino.

Public comments on the scope are due October 5 with a public hearing being held on Wednesday in Monticello in Sullivan County. The final EIS is expected to be published in January 2004 and will be followed by a 30-day public comment period. A "record of decision" is expected to be issued on or about March 1, 2004, the notice states.

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mohawk Mountain Resort and Casino, Sullivan County, NY | PDF

Related Stories:
Mohawk chiefs reworking land, gaming settlement (07/16)
New Mohawk chief wants to renegotiate $15M fee (06/24)
Run-off election for Mohawk chief settled (6/23)
N.Y. court invalidates Mohawk casino compact (6/13)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe schedules run-off (6/12)
Mohawk candidates want election held again (6/11)
Catskills weighs effects of Mohawk election (6/10)
Mohawk candidates critical of gaming deal elected (6/9)
Gaming an issue in Mohawk tribal election (6/6)
N.Y. court puts halt to tribal gaming deals (05/20)
DOJ disapproves of Mohawk land and gaming deal (5/15)
Mohawk tribe announces $100M deal with N.Y. (5/13)
Snag resolved in Mohawk land and gaming settlement (5/12)
Announcement of Mohawk land and gaming deal delayed (5/8)
N.Y. to finalize Mohawk land claim and gaming deal (5/7)
Mohawk chiefs accused of meddling (06/07)
Mohawk traditional chiefs affirmed (5/21)
Court strikes Mohawk gaming compact (5/3)
Mohawk members want own casino (4/4)
N.Y. court hears casino compact case (3/26)
BIA can't figure out court ruling (3/21)
Mohawk Tribe changing name (3/8)
Mohawk Tribe blasts 'Chief' editorial (3/5)
Inside the BIA, plenty of drama (3/4)
Ashcroft urged to charge BIA officials (3/1)
Mohawk deal could leave parties out (2/28)
Catskills land-into-trust filed (2/12)

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

Decision day for National Congress of American Indians with leadership changes
House subcommittee takes up controversial American Indian Empowerment Act
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on public safety measures
Arne Vainio: I wanted you to know you are loved and that I am bringing you home
Albert Bender: Native community celebrates Indigenous Peoples' Day in Nashville
Native Sun News Today: Student speaks out about racism in South Dakota school
James Giago Davies: School fumbles historic opportunity after incident of racism
Tribes open their doors in response to devastating wildfires in northern California
National Congress of American Indians looks ahead to Tara Sweeney confirmation
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs sign agreement for Cobell buy-back program
Alaska Native executive Tara Sweeney named to top Bureau of Indian Affairs job
Tribes slam Trump administration for adding hurdles to land-into-trust process
Native Sun News Today: Native Americans are over-represented in county's jail
Tim Giago: Clones in Congress won't stand up to the Clown in the White House
Mark Trahant: Exploring the 'business' of news in Indian Country these days
Native Sun News Today: Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate debuts new grocery store
Bears Ears remains in limbo as Republicans leave tribes out of monument bill
Mark Trahant: Trump brings more chaos to health coverage for tribal citizens
YES! Magazine: Tribal hospital in Alaska brings traditional foods to patients
Native Sun News Today: Tribal leaders absent at border town liquor summit
Native Sun News Today Editorial: Teams continue to denigrate Indian people
Secretary Zinke requires special flag to be flown when he's in Interior building
Lawsuit seeks damages for death of girl at Bureau of Indian Education school
President of Northern Cheyenne Tribe remains in office after disputed removal
Republican candidate questions mural for depicting Indian people as too 'dark'
Bureau of Indian Affairs supports name change for 'Negro Bill Canyon' in Utah
Aroostook Band of Micmacs backs ballot referendum for new casino in Maine
Gun Lake Tribe secures strong local support in casino case except for one town
Second federal appeals court chimes in with decision favoring tribal homelands
Harold Frazier: Another incident of racism targets Native youth in South Dakota
Native American Voting Rights Coalition convenes second hearing in Wisconsin
Yurok Tribe welcomes introduction of bill to add important lands to reservation
YES! Magazine: Native family uses energy proceeds to benefit Indian Country
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe refutes rumors of Black Hills 'sale'
James Giago Davies: A best friend sticks with us even at the very end of life
Cronkite News: Republicans quickly move bill to limit new national monuments
Raymond Hitchcock: Sorry but tribal casinos aren't linked to increases in crime
Osage Nation prepared to fight state over water rights on historic reservation
Eastern Cherokee council complete after second round of voting for one seat
Iowa Tribe announces 'Monsterous' deal linked to long-delayed poker website
Squaxin Island Tribe holds grand opening for remodeled hotel tower at casino
Judge deals tribes major setback with decision in Dakota Access Pipeline case
YES! Magazine: Winnemem Wintu Tribe struggles to bring salmon back home
Native Sun News Today: Rapid City turns out for Native American Day parade
Ivan Star Comes Out: Our teachers shouldn't be doing the jobs of the parents
Non-Indian parents file lawsuit to halt transfer of child custody cases to tribes
County in Oregon holds public hearing on name of 'Dead Indian Memorial Road'
Swinomish Tribe set to open substance abuse treatment center in Washington
All-Native band Warpath from California mixes heavy metal with tribal elements
Ramapough Lunaape Nation defends right to host prayer camp in New Jersey
Chehalis Tribe working with local authorities on fatal shooting outside casino
Gun Lake Tribe shares oral arguments with Trump team in Supreme Court case
Supreme Court puts end to case challenging Colorado River Indian Tribes lease
Kansas asks Supreme Court to overturn ruling in Quapaw Tribe homeland case
Jacqueline Keeler: 'Black Snake' film explores fight over pipeline in Minnesota
The Conversation: Indigenous people invented the so-called 'American Dream'
Navajo Nation mourns passing of Code Talker David Patterson Sr. at age of 94
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.