Land Grab by Shingle Springs Miwok/Red Hawk Casino Tribe

posted May 20, 2015, 11:50 AM by Lori Parlin   [ updated Jul 22, 2015, 1:30 PM ]
Dear Shingle Springs residents and fellow El Dorado County citizens,

The recent construction of a Gun Range on Tribal land in Shingle Springs has raised many questions and concerns from residents about the future of land uses near the Red Hawk Casino.  Here is information so that you understand the situation and are ready to take action when needed.

In the map below, the red parcels were purchased by the Tribe and converted to Trust Land.  This means that these parcels are off of the County tax roll and the Tribe has sovereign use of the land.  Trust parcels do not fall under local, state, or federal land use authority.  This sovereign status is what allowed the Tribe to build the incompatible Tribal Gun Range adjacent to homes, Highway 50, and the walking/biking/riding trail.  The parcel for the site of the open Gun Range was brought into Trust for the intended purpose of building a Tribal Health Facility.  The parcel for the site of the proposed Gas Station was brought into Trust for the intended purpose of building six residential houses.  The Tribe stated on its application that they needed the land to provide for the Tribe’s health and much-needed residential housing.  The Notice of Decision for bringing the parcels into Trust is available by clicking here.  Why has the Tribal Council switched its plans to provide for the Tribe’s health and well-being and instead are planning to build projects that are adversarial to the surrounding neighbors?

The parcels on the map outlined in blue have also been purchased by the Red Hawk Casino/Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Tribe.  The Tribal Council has submitted an application to to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to also have several of those parcels put into Trust.  You can view the Fee to Trust Application by clicking here.  We have been alerted that at least one other application is in process.  Additionally, the Tribe has been pressuring nearby neighbors to sell their property to the Tribe.  Why is the Tribe applying to have sovereign status on land that is already developed for residential use?   What is to prevent the Tribe from once again abusing the Land Trust process and build incompatible projects?  When will they stop pursuing more land?

El Dorado County is not the only county that is experiencing issues with its Tribal neighbors.  The Fee to Trust process is broken.  Applications are simply rubber stamped by the BIA and there is no accountability if a Tribe switches from one land use to another.  Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon has been working on this issue.  You can read some of her testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs by clicking here.  The situation has been exacerbated because our local and federal representatives have advised community groups to talk to the Tribe and work out issues.  That has been difficult because the Tribe has used its sovereignty to minimize and dismiss concerns.  This is in direct conflict with the The Tribe's stated commitment to having "a positive impact in the community and to preserving the places where our neighbors, guests, team and Tribe work, live and play." 

Please share this information with friends and neighbors.  We will need to be informed and united to make an impact on the decisions being made by our representatives.