Urgent – Take action – Write letters to Select Committee on Indian Affairs

Dear El Dorado County residents and rural lifestyle supporters,

Please take action to fix the broken Fee to Trust process that allows Tribal land to be developed with projects that are detrimental to neighbors, such as the recent RedHawk Casino Tribe’s gun range and motocross projects, and now a proposed HUGE commercial project in a rural residential area. There is no accountability in the current process, however proposed legislation could change that with our help.

The August 27, 2015 letter from Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) to Senator John Barrasso, Chair of the Select Committee on Indian Affairs is linked here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6SYfsvp_87XM2ZSSnZJUGVLSFk/view?usp=sharing The letter explains how the broken system could be fixed by supporting S.1879, the Interior Improvement Act, WITH suggested amendments. Without the amendments, S.1879 has no teeth. The proposed amendments would: 1) require that a change in land use shall be subject to review by public and contiguous jurisdictions; 2) require that mitigation measures are legally enforceable, and 3) incorporate stronger language into the bill to build a framework of criteria for the mitigation components. The text and status of S.1879 is available here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1879

More details about the broken Fee to Trust system is here: http://eldoradocouncil.org/land-grab/

Take Action:

Customize the sample letter below and write letters of support for the RCRC amendment:

The Honorable John Barrasso, Chair
Select Committee on Indian Affairs
838 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jon Tester, Ranking Member
Select Committee on Indian Affairs
United States Senate
838 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510


Dear Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Tester:

I am writing to you in support of S.1879 with the proposed amendments outlined in the August 27, 2015 letter by Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC). El Dorado County has become the poster child for the broken Fee to Trust system. Our local Tribe, calling themselves The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, used the Fee to Trust process to put land into Trust to build residential houses and a health facility, which are compatible with the surrounding rural neighborhood. However, now that the application has been approved, the Tribe has shrugged off any accountability and developed detrimental projects on the Trust property, such as a gun range and motocross track, and are proposing a gas station/car wash/mini-mart as part of a 110,000 square foot commercial development. This bait and switch has caused the Tribe to lose its goodwill within the community and earned itself a reputation as a bad neighbor.

Please support S.1879 with the proposed amendments so we can rest assured that Tribes will be held accountable to their requests to develop projects on Trust land.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

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