California | Casino Stalker | Compacts | Litigation

North Fork Rancheria remains confident of off-reservation casino




Artist's rendering of the proposed North Fork Rancheria casino. Image from North Fork EIS

It's taking a lot longer than expected but the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians remains confident that it will open an off-reservation casino in northern California.

The tribe plans to build the casino on a 305-acre site in Madera County. Even though the local community supports the project, voters statewide rejected the state law that ratified the tribe's Class III gaming compact in November 2014.

The tribe asked Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to negotiate a new agreementbut he refused, citing the results of the referendum. That prompted the tribe to sue Brown in federal court and, last November, a federal judge ruled that he failed to engage in "good faith" talks as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

A mediator was appointed in January and, after hearing from both sides, Zela G. Claiborne selected the compact presented by the tribe, according to document filed by the tribe in a different lawsuit. She gave the state until April 11 to respond.

“We just have to get through all the court-ordered proceedings, so there is nothing else we can do until we are done with that process,” Chairwoman Maryann McGovran told The Fresno Bee.

The tribe plans to conduct some resurveying, groundwater testing and other activities at the site, according to the document, but otherwise is not ready to start work on the casino itself.

Get the Story:
North Fork casino in Madera getting closer to approval (The Sacramento Bee 2/27)

Federal Register Notices:
Indian Gaming (October 22, 2013)
Land Acquisitions; North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California (December 3, 2012)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet: North Fork Rancheria Decision | Section 20 Determination: North Fork Rancheria

Related Stories:
North Fork Rancheria wins decision in gaming compact case (11/17)
Off-reservation gaming dead in tracks after California election (04/06)
Patrick Sullivan: North Fork Rancheria in long drama for casino (04/03)
North Fork Rancheria sues California for off-reservation casino (03/18)
Rivals spent $18M to oppose North Fork off-reservation casino (02/03)
Court won't review decision favoring North Fork Rancheria casino (01/16)
Editorial: Don't let North Fork Rancheria proceed with casino plan (01/05)