In southern Oregon, the federally-recognized Coquille Indian Tribe is making progress on its plan to open a new casino in the city of Medford after the Bureau Of Indian Affairs completed an “administrative draft environmental study” for the envisioned development.

According to a report from the local Mail Tribune newspaper, the tribe wants to open The Cedars At Bear Creek on 2.42 acres of land next to its Bear Creek Golf Course complete with class-two gaming facilities.

Currently home to a bowling alley and restaurant, the site for the planned casino is approximately 170 miles from The Mill Casino And Hotel, the tribe’s class-three gaming venue in North Bend, Oregon, with the Coquille Indian Tribe stating that the project has been designed to help it broaden its “economic base”.

However, the Coquille Indian Tribe must first have a land-into-trust application for the development approved at a federal level, which necessitated the preparation of an environmental impact study.

Although the Bureau Of Indian Affairs is behind in terms of its anticipated schedule for the full report on the anticipated Jackson County venue, the preliminary findings have now been released to local officials with the full conclusions not expected before the autumn.

But, the preliminary findings have already drawn the ire of Medford officials for an alleged failure by the Coquille Indian Tribe to adequately address concerns over crime, transportation and the economic impacts of the development. Furthermore, the city has criticized the group for failing to denote alternative locations for its casino and for opening the door to more tribal gaming in Oregon.

“Establishing this precedent would make it more likely that the tribe and other similarly situated tribes will pursue such developments in the future,” city attorney Lori Cooper wrote in a letter to the Bureau Of Indian Affairs disparaging the planned casino.

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