Attached is an article that discusses the Patchak case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case is relevant to the situation in the Santa Ynez Valley with the Chumash’s efforts to add the Camp 4 property to their reservation. In Patchak case, Congress intervened and affirmed a federal trust that would allow gaming for a Michigan Tribe. This is similar to what the Chumash are trying to do in Congress with Camp 4. This case bears watching.
Law360, New York (August 28, 2017, 5:51 PM EDT) The public is often baffled by the cases that the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear out of the hundreds presented yearly. So are many lawyers and legal scholars. This term, for example, the question of who a baker must bake a cake for has arisen to the level of constitutional importance. On the other hand, the relatively unknown case of Patchak v. Zinke gets none of the notoriety in the media or the public eye, yet it is probably one of the more important cases that have been decided by the court since Marbury v. Madison defined the parameters of the three branches of our government over 210 years ago. That landmark decision established the law of the land, making clear the critical need for maintaining the system of checks and balances and separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, as well as the rights and protections for the people of the United States for whom the Constitution was written. (Click here to read the full article.)
A recent editorial asserted that the Chumash tribe’s willingness to negotiate with Santa Barbara County regarding future land uses “was at minimum a show of good faith. …” However, it is evident the Chumash are acting in remarkably bad faith. (Click here to read full article)
Chumash Tribal Chairman Kenneth Kahn stated that “the federal government would closely regulate construction on Camp 4 should the land become part of the tribe’s reservation.” What does the federal government know about the Santa Ynez Valley’s general plan? (Click Here to read full article)
On August 13, 2017, the House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony “on the power of the Secretary of the Interior to acquire land in trust, and on whether or not Congress should enact standards to govern the Secretary’s use of such power.”
The Committee heard testimony from a diverse panel of witnesses and particularly, the comments from Mayor Fred B. Allyn III of Ledyard, CT whose community is impacted by tribal gaming were particularly relevant to what the Santa Ynez Valley is experiencing with the Chumash Casino. Below are witness statements and you can watch the complete hearing online.
A recent article referenced language contained in HR 1491 that “would prohibit gaming” on Camp 4. However, it is important to keep in mind that notwithstanding this language, gambling could eventually occur on Camp 4 if this parcel is annexed into the Chumash reservation. (Click here to read full article)
Denounces Unconstitutional Bill to Deny Citizen Appeals
(Santa Ynez, Calif.) In response to the House Natural Resources Committee today passing H.R. 1491, “the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Land Affirmation Act of 2017”, Santa Ynez Valley Coalition Chair Bill Krauch issued the following statement:
“There is a good reason the Chumash and their Congressional allies are seeking this extraordinary special interest bill that denies citizens and our county government the opportunity to challenge in federal court the Camp 4 fee to trust action taken in the waning hours of the previous administration – their case is weak and our’s is strong.
H.R. 1491 affirms the illegal transfer of the 1,400-acre Camp 4 parcel from fee into trust. The Chumash would be able to develop this land in any manner it sees fits in defiance of county land use laws and regulations. The land would not be subject to property taxes, which shifts the burden of needed infrastructure spending to all existing residents and businesses. H.R. 1491 cuts off administrative and legal appeals of this illegal land transfer. This legislation ratifies the illegal prior actions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and prevents impacted residents and our local government from presenting our case before a federal judge. This bill is an unacceptable denial of due process and justice.
This legislation is just another example of bad faith on the part of the Chumash Tribe. The Tribe has entered into negotiations with Santa Barbara County to address the tribe’s housing needs in a manner consistent with local land use policies. At the same time, in Washington, it is seeking federal legislation that would deny Santa Barbara County and impacted residents the opportunity to challenge what we believe to be an illegal action by the federal government that renders those local land use policies irrelevant.Make no mistake; this struggle is far from over. Last year this Committee passed similar legislation exclusively benefitting the Chumash. That legislation failed. The Santa Ynez Valley Coalition is committed to similarly fighting H.R. 1491 and pursuing our right to challenge the Camp 4 fee-to-trust action.
Make no mistake; this struggle is far from over. Last year this Committee passed similar legislation exclusively benefitting the Chumash. That legislation failed. The Santa Ynez Valley Coalition is committed to similarly fighting H.R. 1491 and pursuing our right to challenge the Camp 4 fee-to-trust action.
The mission of the Santa Ynez Valley Coalition is ensuring that the Santa Ynez Valley residents have a voice in land use decisions affecting our water, environment, public safety, and economy and opposes “Fee to Trust” efforts by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The Coalition engages in outreach and education efforts with policymakers and residents regarding the importance of maintaining local control of land use in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Member organizations comprising represent the views of thousands of Santa Ynez Valley residents and include: Santa Ynez Valley Concerned Citizens, No More Slots, the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance, and WE Watch.
For more about the Coalition go to http://www.SYVCoalition.com
(Guest opinion from Santa Ynez Valley Coalition member Mike Brady)
An open letter to state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson:
The Santa Barbara County government and Santa Ynez Valley residents are making every effort to accommodate the Chumash Tribe’s stated objective of 143 houses and a tribal center.
At the same, we hoped that the tribe, as our neighbors, would accept the basics of land use in the Valley and, just as important, agree to pay the costs created by its intended development.
In February, as the county and tribal staffs were discussing ways to resolve the problems generated by the tribe’s “fee to trust” plan for Camp 4, the tribe sponsored AB 653 in the California Legislature. (Click here to read full article)
State legislation to expand property tax relief for all Native American tribes is stirring up controversy in the Santa Ynez Valley, especially because the Chumash sponsored the bill. Existing law exempts federally recognized tribes — as sovereign nations — from paying property taxes on all reservation land. But applications to increase reservation acreage often get stuck in lengthy appeals with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) bureaucracy. This bill would give tribes tax exemption on land still under consideration. (Click Here to Read Full Story)