In central California, the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs has reportedly completed a ‘scoping report’ on a plan that could eventually lead to the Tejon Indian Tribe being granted permission to build and operate a small casino resort.
According to a Friday report from The Bakersfield Californian newspaper, the tribe was granted federal recognition in 2012 and is now hoping that the United States Department of the Interior will allow it to establish a homeland on 306 acres of land located some 15 miles south of the city of Bakersfield.
The newspaper reported that the Tejon Indian Tribe already owns this plot situated just west of the small California community of Mettler and earlier filed a ‘land into trust’ petition regarding the Kern County parcel. The successful receipt of such a request would effectively transform this farmland site into aboriginal land on which the tribe could construct its first casino resort.
The tribe, which had about 940 registered members in 2017, envisions building a 165,500 sq ft facility on the site complete with a casino, multiple restaurants and a 400-room hotel. The planned scheme from the Tejon Indian Tribe could moreover purportedly also eventually encompass a community park alongside an organic farm, residences and a tribal administration office.
However, the tribe cannot begin work until its ‘land into trust’ petition has been successfully processed, which involves the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs making an official recommendation to the United States Department of the Interior. The ‘scoping report’ is purportedly an essential part of this process and deals with the potential impact any casino resort could have on the local environment.
The United States Bureau of Indian Affairs now intends to utilize the just-finished ‘scoping report’ regarding the plan from the Tejon Indian Tribe to formulate a much broader environmental impact statement before the end of the year. From here, it purportedly envisions launching a public comment period in advance of making its final recommendation to the United States Department of the Interior.