Friday, January 14, 2011

County To Appeal Federal Decision To Establish Cowlitz Tribe Reservation

Feahter News

The first shot was fired to delay the establishment of the Cowlitz Tribe's reservation and proposed casino in the State of Washington's Clark County.

Clark County commissioners agreed to appeal the U.S. Department of Interior's decision made in late December to take land into trust as reservation land for the Cowlitz Tribe. The Cowlitz Tribe hopes to build a casino on the land which would be managed by the Mohegan Tribe.

The appeal will challenge the federal Department of Interior's authority to take the land into trust, claiming that the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Carcieri v. Salazar does not permit the transaction. In that case, the Supreme Court denied the authority of the Interior Department to take land into trust for the Narragansett Tribe, ruling that the Tribe was not under federal jurisdiction before 1934 as required under a new interpretation of a 1934 federal law. The 1934 law previously allowed the Interior Department to take land into trust for all federally recognized tribes, regardless of when the tribes were deemed to have been under federal jurisdiction.

Clark County's decision to appeal the establishment of the Cowlitz Tribe's reservation was not unexpected and will further delay a possible casino to be built on the land.