Let's see, CA says it's OKAY for NORTH FORK RANCHERIA to have a casino outside it's area, but NOT for Mechoopda's to get land? Wow, we don't need equal rights in CA. Key words here: NO LONGER HAS FUNDS. Can't pay to play.
After 13 years of battling for a federal land trust, the Mechoopda tribe no longer has funds to fight the state Attorney General's request that the tribe's application be denied.
Even if the decision is made in favor of the tribe, the tribe does not have funding to develop the land or a partner to start a casino, said Sandra Knight, vice chairwoman of the Chico tribe.
The Mechoopda had a long-time plan of building a casino off Highway 149 near the intersection with Highway 99. On April 1, the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent the state a notice of the application for 645 acres to be put into a federal trust for the tribe.
The state responded May 17 by requesting the trust be denied at this time, based on elements lacking in the application.
This is the first time that the Attorney General's Office has responded to notices sent to the state in regard to the Mechoopda trust application, Knight said.
A decision will now be made on whether or not the state's denial will be approved, but while in the past the tribe has intervened to protect their interests, it no longer has the funds to do so, Knight said.
Despite lack of funding and not being able to develop the land if it was granted, the tribe still seeks the land for cohesion as a tribe.
"Our tribe is a landless tribe," Knight said. "With land, the tribe would be made whole."
The attorney general's reasons for seeking denial of the trust application were stated in a letter.
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