A plan from the White Earth Band Of Ojibwe to open a third casino in northern Minnesota could be in jeopardy over concerns the development could adversely affect the local environment.

According to a report from the Perham Focus newspaper, a group calling itself the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group met on June 3 to discuss the building of the proposed Shooting Star Casino Star Lake on land being held in trust for the tribe near the small village of Dent. The organization’s Ty Dayton told those assembled that there were still options to block the development and urged opponents to speak out.

“This is not a done deal,” said Dayton. “There are still some things we can do to have an impact on this proposed development.”

The newspaper reported that Dayton counselled those opposed to the construction of the new casino to take action prior to any groundbreaking by contacting county, state and federal agencies.

“It is one of our primary goals to make sure we are trying your best to ensure the process is escalated to an environmental impact statement,” said Dayton.

Dayton reportedly stated that several factors could inhibit the building process such as the development’s possible threat to wild rice beds and the local ecosystem while he declared that the area’s wetlands fell under the protection of the Department Of Natural Resources and, as such, should be exempt from being a part of trust land.

“The Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group mission statement is to protect, preserve and enhance the environment,” said Dayton.

Representatives from the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group have additionally met with unaffiliated local property owners and the board of the Dead Lake owner association to seek input and will be attending tomorrow’s meeting of the Star Lake Property Owners Association.