Monday, November 10, 2008

Pechanga's New Golf Course on Culturally Significant Property

MEDIA ADVISORY November 9, 2008

Pechanga builds golf course on culturally significant property

TEMECULA, CA – The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians will officially open The Journey at Pechanga, a daily fee golf course, this week. The Journey, a new addition to the Pechanga Resort and Casino complex in Riverside County, California, cuts through the Great Oak Ranch which was once the home of “Perry Mason” novelist Erle Stanley Gardner.

The Great Oak Ranch was the subject of a heated and costly battle from 2000 to 2003 as the Pechanga Band fought to keep SDG & E from running a power line through the property. Throughout, tribal officials stressed the need to protect the Great Oak and the many significant and invaluable cultural and archaeological resources on the Ranch from the impacts related to development.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) sponsored several bills aimed at protecting the Ranch from development. In a hearing on one of Congressman Issa’s bills, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro testified to the House of Representatives Committee on Resources that, “The sole purpose of the (land) acquisition is the preservation and protection of the Luiseno people’s natural and cultural resources.”

And, when specifically asked if the Pechanga Tribe had “any plans for development of any kind on the Great Oak Ranch property”, Chairman Macarro responded as follows:

“No, we don’t. As stated … the intended use and purpose is to preserve and protect the resources that are there.”

Needless to say, the development of the golf course and other projects on land that was supposed to be free from impacts in no way reflects the “no change in use” testified to by Mr. Macarro. While the transfer of the Ranch property protected it from the proposed power line project, the transfer did not protect the Ranch or its resources from tribal development projects, including the golf course.

“The transfer of the Great Oak Ranch and eventual development of the property is tragic,” stated John Gomez, Jr.* “If the golf course project, or any other development, had been proposed on private property as culturally rich and significant as this, you better believe that tribal officials would have taken every action, whether it be lawsuits or acts of Congress, to stop it. Unfortunately, the duty to protect and preserve does not apply to tribal projects that may add to the bottom line.”

In addition to the impacts development has had on the cultural and archaeological resources on the Great Oak Ranch and the surrounding area, it appears that the tribal officials’ double-talk was reason enough for the City of Temecula and others to raise serious concerns regarding a recent bill sponsored by Congressman Issa to transfer additional lands to the United States government for the Pechanga Band.

The bill, HR 2963, which was passed in September, transferred land in Riverside and San Diego Counties for “the protection, preservation, and maintenance of the archaeological, cultural, and wildlife resources thereon”. Based on their experience with the Great Oak Ranch transfer, the City of Temecula and local residents sought and received language in HR 2963 that would restrict development. However, only time will tell if the bill language is enough to protect the invaluable cultural and archaeological resources from the development plans of tribal officials.
*As Legal Analyst for the Office of the Tribal Attorney for the Pechanga Band, John Gomez Jr. spent the better part of two years working with local, State and Federal officials to protect the Great Oak Ranch and the cultural and archaeological resources located thereon from development


Anonymous said...

Why didn't Pechanga buy Redhawk when it was available, rather than destroying the resting place of Luiseno ancestors?

Anonymous said...

They didn't buy Redhawk because it is too far away from their casino and might take away some extra money from their revenue they get from gamblers

Anonymous said...

Funny how the Agua Caliente tribe made that work just fine. Their golf course is quite a ways away from their casino.

It's $200 a round either.

t'eetilawuncha! said...

To far away?????

How much money did it take to divert water to the "Journey fron Pechanga"?

Is it free water???

It is recycleled water???

On top of the Millions spent on campaign donations.

Who is guiding you thru this finacial mess?

Anonymous said...

whats it any of ur business? honestly why dont u get a job stop living off ur families and grow up HATERS jealousy is not cute u make urself look greedier than u portray them to be ur bitter over something that doesnt concern u the words tatle tail and snitch come to mind karma is a beautiful thing dont play into the game miyu

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Pechanga's word mean anything to some of you still in the tribe and doesn't the culture of your people mean anything?

In 2002 Pechanga chairman Mark Macarro testified to a congressional committee and Pechanga had promised the Department of Interior that no changes would be made to the Great Oak Ranch property if that property would be made part of the reservation.

Pechanga told everyone that they wanted to protect in their words, "irreplacable cultural resources of the Pechanga and Luisneo people."

That they wanted to protect old village sites, creamation sites, sensitive habitat, etc, but once they got the land, they tore it up and put a golf course there.

This is all documented and since dealing with congress and the dept of Interior is not an internal affair, Pechanga can't hide the facts on this one!

By the way, even if we have been disenrolled from the tribe we are still considered Luiseno people so yes it is still our business.

One more thing, miiyu is the word for hello not goodbye, spelled with two i's not one.

I am guessing you were trying to say goodbye in Luiseno but I am pretty sure you probably don't know how to say that as you probably know nothing about your language or your culture.

Luiseno said...

I am afraid to say that I am embarrassed when I read what Anonymous had posted on November 15, 2008 3:38 AM . The apparent lack of education and intelligence that his witting exemplifies embarrasses me immensely . I realize that my own writing is nothing to boast about. But I thought at least the Tribe required a high school education (or has the standards of the California education system fallen that far since I graduated)?

Luiseno said...

After reading what I had written in the above statement, I realize that a non member of the Tribe could be led to a wrong conclusion. The Tribe dose NOT require a High School education for membership, but does (or at least used to) require a High School education to receive per checks, after a minor turns 18 (a very good requirement in my opinion). I realize that I could have jumped to a wrong conclusion myself, as the style and structure that Anonymous had posted on November 15, 2008 3:38 AM had led me to believe that he or she was a minor. I realize that the writer could have been an older member who does not have the requirement of a high school diploma to receive per capita checks.

I am sorry if I have come across as a bit heavy handed. But if your going to take the position of Tribal Advocate. Please at least appear to know what you are writing about.

Anonymous said...

It is true, after about 2002 the tribe required that any minor turning 18 had to have a high school diploma in order to get a per capita check and that anyone who was already 18 before that law was passed didn't have to meet the new requirement as it wasn't retroactive.

So it is possible that our "anonymous friend" could be an older tribal member who didn't have to have a diploma.

It is also possible the writer of the post in question is a kid who hasn't learned how to write yet.

Luiseno said...

Why is it that those who are against us in the tribe always seem to assume that we do not have a job? I have always had a job since I was 12 years old when I worked in a dairy. Just to let you know some of the jobs I have had:

Labor in a Dairy, Shipping and receiving clerk, dish washer, ditch digger, grave digger, poultry farm worker, janitor, forklift driver, auto mechanic, tree planter, pre commercial tree thinning, locksmith, machinist, gas station attendant, and several others. None of which I was ever fired from, and I always received tremendous praise from my employers.

I have never lived off my family since I turned 18 years old.

My home is paid for (before receiving any checks from the tribe), I am debit free, and while I stay in relative good health I hope to remain so.

Anonymous said...

But for those of us who were disenrolled and are looking for work, do you think our the anonymous tribal member will put in a good word for us and help us get hired at the Pechanga casino?

Oh that's right, the Pechanga casino has laid off hundreds of people in the last few months and they probably aren't hiring right now.

So much for that job lead.

Luiseno said...

"Anonymous said...
whats it any of ur business?

It IS my business because you have destroyed a culturally significant site forever. One that my people have lived on for thousands of years. All for a $$$ buck $$$.

Anonymous said...

This ANONYMOUS says: whats it any of ur business? honestly why dont u get a job stop living off ur families and grow up HATERS jealousy is not cute u make urself look greedier than u portray them to be ur bitter over something that doesnt concern u the words tatle tail and snitch come to mind karma is a beautiful thing dont play into the game miyu

It's ALL of our business because the tribe asked for FEDERAL land that the CHAIRMAN said they would keep pure. Thus he LIED.

What makes you think we DON'T have jobs? In fact, I'm sure FEWER tribal members have JOBS than we do.

Jealousy doesn't enter into this, it's about doing what is right, unfortunately, you just can't see that.

KARMA, is what Pechanga is reaping, lost business, carjackers on your property, child molestors on the rez, nightclubs being closed because of thug behavior. and $50 MILLION spent on the propositions because the tribe thought that 94 wouldn't be passed, AND now more bad publicity due to your security guards BEATING your customers.