The site of the proposed Timbisha Shoshone Tribe casino in Ridgecrest, California. Photo: Timbisha Shoshone Tribe

Timbisha Shoshone Tribe solicits local input for off-reservation casino project

The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe is asking the public to comment on plans for an off-reservation casino in California.

The tribe wants to build the facility in Ridgecrest. Phase calls for a casino with about 35,000 to 50,000 square feet of space, according to a draft environmental impact report.

Phase two would include a larger casino, along with a 100-room hotel and 52,000 square-feet of convention space.

Comments are due January 31 and will be used to prepare a final environmental impact report. There is no timeline for completion.

The tribe must still have the 26.5-acre site placed in trust and negotiate a Class III gaming compact with the state of California.

The Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act requires the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place certain lands in trust for the tribe in the event a particular parcel in Nevada can't be acquired. That parcel was not acquired, according to the tribe.

The tribe has a reservation in Death Valley National Park but has to look elsewhere for economic opportunities due to restrictions on development within the park, a federal facility.

Ridgecrest is more than 130 miles from tribal headquarters in Death Valley. A public meeting there on January 11 drew few speakers, The Ridgecrest Daily Independent reported.

Read More on the Story:
Public feedback collected in brief casino meeting (The Ridgecrest Daily Independent January 13, 2018)
Casino TEIR: environmental impacts can be mitigated (The Ridgecrest Daily Independent January 11, 2018)

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