The Mechoopda Tribe plans to build a casino at this site along Highway 149 near Oroville, California. Image from Google Maps

Mechoopda Tribe offers olive branch on casino but county refuses

Officials in Butte County, California, will keep fighting the Mechoopda Tribe even after Chairman Dennis Ramirez offered to discuss their concerns about a long-delayed casino.

On July 26, the board of supervisors voted 3-2 to appeal a federal judge's recent decision in favor of the casino. The county so far has spent $601,468 on the matter, The Chico Enterprise-Record reported.

"It’s unfortunate that the Butte County Board of Supervisors will continue to waste more local money fighting the Mechoopda Tribe," the tribe said in statement on Facebook.

The tribe has been pursuing the casino for more than a decade. The facility would take up about 91 acres of a 625-acre site along Highway 149, about halfway between the city of Chico and the city of Oroville.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the land-into-trust application for the site in January 2014. The county claimed the decision was "arbitrary and capricious" but Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. ruled otherwise on July 15.

The next step for the case would be the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. A decision from that court in July 2010 forced the BIA to take another look at the tribe's project.

Get the Story:
Butte County will continue lawsuit against Mechoopda casino (The Chico Enterprise-Record 7/28)

Some Opinions:
Editorial: County’s legal bill in losing fight tops $600,000 (The Chico Enterprise Record 8/3)
Editorial: Settle it (The Chico News-Review 7/28)

District Court Decision:
Butte County v. Chaudhuri (July 15, 2016)

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Butte County v. Hogen (July 13, 2010)

Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions; Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria of California (February 27, 2014)

National Indian Gaming Commission Indian Lands Opinions:
January 24, 2014 | March 14, 2003

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