The Biden administration is poised to move forward with a plan to allow a tribe in the Pacific Northwest to build a second casino far beyond its territory, a move other tribes and Democrats in the region have argued vehemently against.
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is expected to issue a final environmental impact statement (EIS) potentially green-lighting the Oregon-based Coquille Indian Tribe’s proposal to develop and operate a casino outside its territory in Medford, Oregon, as soon as this week, people familiar with the federal review process told Fox News Digital.
The BIA issued its draft EIS in November 2022 for the proposal and the public comment period for that action lasted until late February. A wide range of voices, including several regional tribes, tribes nationwide and bipartisan lawmakers, blasted the draft EIS which recommended the federal government approve Coquille’s move to build an off-reservation casino, the so-called Cedars at Bears Creek.
“The Coquille Indian Tribe’s application to transfer fee land in Medford, Oregon into trust for gaming using the restored lands exception directly threatens the sovereign rights of tribal governments to operate gaming on their lands,” the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations,