The Redding Rancheria
is planning to move its casino to a new site in California amid change thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C.
The Trump administration is making it harder for tribes
to acquire land away from existing reservations. The shift in policy affects the Redding Rancheria, whose leaders hope to relocate the Win-River Resort and Casino
to a more attractive location after winning a favorable federal court decision
As a result of the ruling, the Bureau of Indian Affairs
is moving forward with the environmental review of the tribe's land-into-trust application
. But the final say rests with top political officials at the Department of the Interior
in D.C. who have raised questions about new casinos.
"Interior believes the process of trust land acquisition for on-reservation
parcels is an important and routine matter that creates economic drivers for
tribes," Jim Cason, the Associate Deputy Secretary at the department, said in testimony to Congress on July 13
"However, taking off-reservation lands into trust may pose complications
for the department, as well as some members of the public, particularly when
fee-to-trust applications are for gaming purposes," Cason said.
The scrutiny comes as a group called Speak Up! Shasta
rallies opposition to the tribe's project, The Redding Record-Searchlight reported.
Residents are being urged to submit comments to the BIA as part of the environmental review.
A consultant affiliated with the effort also told the paper that his firm works with the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians
and that the tribe opposes the Redding Rancheria's plans. The Paskenta Band's Rolling Hills Casino
is about 48 miles south of the proposed site of Win River.
The Paskenta Band does not appear to have independently said it opposes the relocation of the Redding Rancheria's casino.
The BIA issued a scoping report on the relocation in May. There is no timeline for the release
of a draft environmental impact statement, which would mark the next major step in the land-into-trust process.
Read More on the Story:
Group out to stop Redding Rancheria's new casino
(The Redding Record-Searchlight November 14, 2017)
The Buzz: Gambling on Smith Road [see second item]
(The Redding Record-Searchlight November 17, 2017)
Federal Register Notice:Notice
of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Redding
Rancheria Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project, Shasta County, California
(November 29, 2016)
9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:Redding
Rancheria v. Jewell
(January 20, 2015)
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