North Fork Rancheria faces fight as casino foes refuse to give up

The North Fork Rancheria maintains an office in North Fork, California. Photo from Facebook

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians will continue to face opposition to its long-delayed casino in California.

The tribe won a significant court victory on Tuesday when a federal judge rejected a slew of arguments raised by casino opponents. But one of those opponents -- a group called Stand Up for California -- is already promising an appeal.

"The people of California have spoken loudly that they are behind us in this effort. Our attorneys are still evaluating the issues in this very lengthy judicial opinion, and we intend to appeal," Cheryl Schmit, the director of the group, told Courthouse News Service.

Stand Up for California operates out of a small town in California but the group has carried a wide influence on gaming matters. On this particular issue, that could be because the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians spent millions of dollars to help the group fight the North Fork Rancheria's casino at the ballot box

The North Fork Rancheria plans to open a casino on a 305-acre site in Madera County that has been placed in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Chukchansis operate the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino about 38 miles away.

Appeals in the case would go to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.

Read More on the Story:
DC Judge OKs Planned Central Calif. Indian Casino (Courthouse News Service 9/7)
Opposition vows to continue fighting after judge approves Madera County casino (KFSN 9/7)

Class III Gaming Procedures:
Bureau of Indian Affairs Letter | Secretarial Procedures | Mediator's Compact

Tribal Leader Opinions on H.R.5079, the California Compact Protection Act:
Maryann McGovran: Don't be fooled by efforts of 'wealthy' tribes (5/13)
Claudia Gonzales: Off-reservation gaming fuels attacks on tribes (5/13)

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

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

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