Cowlitz Tribe reports significant progress on fast-rising casino

Construction is progressing quickly on the Cowlitz Tribe's casino in Washington. Still image from Live Construction Feed / Cowlitz Casino Project

The Cowlitz Tribe has made significant progress on its fast-rising casino in Washington.

The tribe broke ground on the Cowlitz Casino Project earlier this year. It's already 40 percent complete, The Columbian reported, and it's on track to open in the late spring of 2017.

The progress report came as the city council in Vancouver rescinded a resolution that opposed the casino. The city is also withdrawing from a long-running court case against the project.

“We feel it will be a new beginning, turning a page on a history that maybe we’d rather not look back at. But it’s a breath of fresh air,” Chairman Bill Iyall said at a meeting on Monday, The Columbian reported.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Oral Arguments in Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon v. Sally Jewell

Clark County, another opponent, remains committed to the lawsuit but is also reconsidering its stance on the casino, the paper reported. The issue is on the agenda for a meeting on Tuesday.

The lawsuit questions whether the Bureau of Indian Affairs should have approved the land-into-trust application for the casino. A judge sided with the agency but opponents took the case to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oral arguments were head before a packed courtroom in Washington, D.C., in March. Besides the county, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in neighboring Oregon are also opposed to the new casino.

Get the Story:
Vancouver ends Cowlitz casino fight (The Columbian 5/17)
City, county to rethink anti-casino stances (The Columbian 5/14)
New twist in vexing Cowlitz casino wastewater issue (The Columbian 5/14)

Federal Register Notices:
Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Transportation Project in Washington State (May 3, 2016)
Proclaiming Certain Lands as Reservation for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe (November 13, 2015)
Land Acquisitions; Cowlitz Indian Tribe (May 8, 2013)

DOI Solicitor Opinion:
M-37029: The Meaning of "Under Federal Jurisdiction" for Purposes of the Indian Reorganization Act (March 12, 2014)

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