Opinion | Trust

Vincent Armenta: Chumash Tribe strives to be good neighbor

Map shows land consolidation area for Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, including proposed trust land acquisition. Image from Camp 4 Fee-to-Trust Environmental Assessment

Vincent Armenta, the chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, discusses opposition to the tribe's land-into-trust application:
Last week at the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting we announced our decision to withdraw the Tribal Land Consolidation and Acquisition Plan, also known as the TCA.

The TCA was simply a planning jurisdiction between the tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). It recognizes the historical land range of the tribe, which is one factor the BIA considers when it reviews fee-to-trust applications. The TCA carries no land use implications nor does it impact existing property rights.

We submitted our TCA to the BIA simply to help the BIA identify the tribe’s ancestral land. We wanted to ensure there was official recognition of the fact that our tribe has a deep historical connection to this area — part of which includes the tribe’s Camp 4 land.

Unfortunately, the TCA became a lightning rod and was used against the tribe by local tribal opponents. These same opponents have fought us for more than 10 years on everything from obtaining a liquor license for our fine dining restaurant to purchasing businesses in Solvang to owning and operating our destination resort.

Get the Story:
Vincent Armenta: Withdrawing land plan, and being a good neighbor (The Santa Ynez Valley Journal 10/24)

An Opinion:
Jim Bell: Applauding tribe’s offer (The Santa Maria Times 10/24)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Chumash Tribe takes first step to improve relationship (10/21)
Editorial: Compromise goes missing in war with Chumash Tribe (10/17)
County votes to fight Chumash Tribe land-into-trust application (10/16)
Groups take Chumash Tribe's land consolidation plan to IBIA (10/10)
Opinion: Chumash land-into-trust plan raises fairness issues (10/9)
BIA grants extension on Chumash Tribe's land-into-trust bid (10/8)

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