Cowlitz Tribe welcomes discussions with opponent for 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 and Clark County in Washington are reopening casino talks.

The county council voted unanimously to rescind a resolution that opposed discussions for the Cowlitz Casino Project, The Columbian reported. The tribe welcomed the move.

“We have great plans for this community and we really think this is the best step forward we’ve seen in some time,” Chairman Bill Iyall said at a county meeting on Tuesday, the paper reported. “We will build the trust that will build this community.”

The county, however, remains part of a lawsuit that 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.

The city of Vancouver was part of the lawsuit too but the city council there voted to withdraw from the case and enter into talks with the tribe.

Get the Story:
County council reopens communication with Cowlitz Tribe (The Columbian 5/25)
Cowlitz Tribe defends waste-system plan (The Columbian 5/19)

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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