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Chumash Land Goes Federal

Move Out of State and Local Jurisdiction Opposed by Santa Ynez Valley Group


Thursday, July 5, 2012
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A federal agency that oversees the government’s relationship with Indian tribes in the United States has accepted a Santa Ynez property owned by the Chumash ​— ​long the subject of controversy in the valley ​— ​into federal trust.

According to a notice of decision filed June 13, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has accepted 6.9 acres of property in the Santa Ynez Valley ​— ​across from the Chumash Casino ​— ​into federal trust, which means the property is removed from local and state jurisdiction. The decision comes 12 years after the Chumash applied for the move.

The tribe has talked about building a cultural center and museum, retail building, and a park on the land, but opponents ​— ​of which there are many ​— ​worry that the Chumash may have different plans in mind or that the tribe’s plans will change down the road. The tribe, according to a spokesperson last week, had no comment on the decision.

“I thought it was really important given the history with this annexation application,” Doreen Farr, the board chair, explained.

The announcement leaves a 30-day window for the move to be appealed, and the County Board of Supervisors will discuss possibly doing just that on July 10, just days before the appeal window closes. While the matter was on the closed session agenda for the supervisors on June 26, 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr ​— ​whose district includes the property in question ​— ​requested that there be a public hearing on the issue in addition to having the county discuss the issue behind closed doors. “I thought it was really important given the history with this annexation application,” Farr, the board chair, explained.

That meeting will take place in Santa Maria at 10 a.m. on July 11. The public hearing will be followed by a lunchtime closed session for the supervisors.

Taking property into trust means the property leaves the jurisdiction of the county. That translates to no property tax for the county, and county land-use rules then no longer apply to the property.

The tribe first applied to take the 6.9 acres into trust in 2000. Since then, they have endured a long battle with residents. After going through the BIA process, the land was accepted into trust in 2005. The county had the opportunity to appeal but didn’t because the Board of Supervisors were in negotiations with the tribe. The tribe eventually backed out of those negotiations, according to county officials.

A group of citizens, however, filed a lawsuit to try to halt the move in 2005, and the litigation has been ongoing ever since. In a 2010 filing in the matter, POLO (Preservation of Los Olivos), which has opposed the plans of the Chumash at nearly every turn, argued that the tribe was not recognized under federal jurisdiction when the Indian Reorganization Act was enacted in 1934. It was this issue that the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) has been considering for the last two years.

“In this recent decision, the BIA is, yet again, blatantly ignoring harm to non-Indian individuals and decisions by the United States Supreme Court,” said POLO board president Kathy Cleary in a statement. “It continues to give itself the authority to review its own decisions and the authority to create the process to support its own decisions.” But the ruling may once again open the door for the county to appeal the decision to accept the land into trust.

Farr has already made herself clear when it comes to the 1,400 acres the Chumash purchased in 2010 known as Camp 4 ​— ​she has said in the past she favors keeping the land under local control. If the land is taken into trust, the county loses out on property tax, and development can have an impact on emergency services and traffic, she explained. “The issues are pretty much all the same,” Farr said of the 6.9 acres. “We’re just not dealing with as much property.”

The Chumash have said they want to build housing on just a small portion of the Camp 4 property.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

My opinion, keep to the boundaries set by the original treaty.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 12:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Polo? Splendid, nitby's..........

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 2:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

they were here first ..... let them do what they want with their land

iwasbornherethankyouverymuch (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 8:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

No one should doubt that "they want to build housing on just a small portion of the Camp 4 property."

Have not they only done only what they promised prior to an unrevokable land use decision?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

For god's sake, we took the whole country from them...let them do what they want.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 3:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gluteous Maximus: No sarcasm here but seriously, if you feel so bad about what you did to them, why don't you move out of this country?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 5:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Any adjacent land bought by the Chumash should be allowed the same designation. Let's restore their sovereign dignity.
signed,-not a native American

taz (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"One Country, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All."
I know we often come short of the ideals expressed in the Pledge of Allegiance, but having a separate nation within our county's confines makes me uneasy.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2012 at 9:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Blackpoodles, it's out of our hands - our forebears signed the treaty. Both sides should respect the treaty and peacefully negotiate revisions.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 1:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@billclausen: "No sarcasm here but seriously, if you feel so bad about what you did to them, why don't you move out of this country?"

Yes, because those offended by the atrocities committed by our government against the Native Americans should just leave the country. Jesus, Bill, what a stupid thing to say....

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 5:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ha Ha....the joke will be on them.

Now that it is in federal control.....anyone busted for smoking pot goes directly into the federal correctional system.

Any crime whatsoever on that property will be Federal....and they are hell on indians. They will put them in jail for years for being drunk.

Enjoy Kemosabe

rstein9 (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 9:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

They Purchased the Land From Fess Parker I believe.. It was never part of there Reservation. So they should have to follow All County Sate and Federal Laws.. They should not get to Add this land to the Reservation.. And Once it is in their Reservation only "Indian Law" prevails Not Federal or State..

This is a Mistake and I am a Native American. Reservations suck. But this is not part of the Reservation.. Keep the Land under County Control..

thew (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 11:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@thew... I am the king and I approve of this move.

locke (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 12:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

EatTheRich: Did I strike a nerve with you again? Let me attempt to break through your well-documented dislike of those of us who challenge your assumptions with some logic.

"For god's sake, we took the whole country from them...let them do what they want"

Suppose one of them came up to you and said "this land on which you live is land stolen from my ancestors and I want it back." Would you move off the land (without compensation) or would you say "I paid for this land"?

Again, I hear people saying how they feel guilty about living on stolen land, but I don't see them self deporting. Bottom line: Every square inch of land from he Bering Straight to Tierra Del Fuego was stolen by the Europeans so according to the points presented unless you are native American/Indian, or of African ancestory, you are an occupier, and if you (for the sake of argument let's assume you are neither of these ethnicities) were told by a native American to get off your property, what would you do?

It's the false piety that I find annoying; your personal attacks are to be expected, given your annoyance at having alternate views presented which challenge your long-held assumptions.

Again, if you feel so bad, why aren't you self-deporting? Can you please answer that question?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 7:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

P.S. off all the vicious, insulting things you've said to me, I'd say this ranks about fifth.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 7:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

10 points to the commentor who can identify the rhetorical device called a "false choice" in the previous posts! :)

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 7:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think #billclausen is a literature major and is just showing off.

locke (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2012 at 10:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No, I'm actually EatTheRich's evil twin.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 1:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@billclausen: "Let me attempt to break through your well-documented dislike of those of us who challenge your assumptions with some logic."

I love it when you attempt to use logic. It's like watching a baby use a spoon.

@billclausen: " Again, if you feel so bad, why aren't you self-deporting? Can you please answer that question?"

Oh, sure! I'm not self-deporting because it's in no way a reasonable or rational response to the atrocities committed. At this point, it does far more good to have people who support Native Americans in the presence of people like yourself who simply want pretend that history never happened. And if we left, I think it's clear what would happen to the Native Americans who are left.

@billclausen: "It's the false piety that I find annoying; your personal attacks are to be expected, given your annoyance at having alternate views presented which challenge your long-held assumptions."

I love this noble idea you have of yourself - that you're some wise, worldly man who is humbly challenging the views of the lessers around him (in the comments section of a website - the only place where nonsensical views like yours are given equal footing).

But you are correct in one sense. It'll take more than your poorly-thought rhetorical arguments to change my mind.

@billclausen: "P.S. off all the vicious, insulting things you've said to me, I'd say this ranks about fifth."

Whew. At least *someone* is keeping track...

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 6:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Land can only be 'stolen' if it was 'owned' in the first place. If it wasn't 'owned'--that is, if no formal claim was made and known to the surrounding peoples--then 'permanently occupied' would be more accurate.

onsecondthought (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

." At this point, it does far more good to have people who support Native Americans in the presence of people like yourself who simply want pretend that history never happened." =EatTheRich-

What evidence do you have to back this accusation. If you didn't see it in a post (which you certainly can copy and paste for all to see) then you shouldn't make false accusations.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

EatTheRich: I think the lyrics of this George Harrison song are very apropos. You can click on the "show more link" to access the lyrics.

For the record: My earlier comment "Every square inch of land from he Bering Straight to Tierra Del Fuego was stolen by the Europeans" proves I am not Holocaust Denier. Please read my comments in full before making such libelous accusations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvHQOc...

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 3:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@billclausen: "What evidence do you have to back this accusation. If you didn't see it in a post (which you certainly can copy and paste for all to see) then you shouldn't make false accusations."

Simple. You suggest that anyone who empathized with the atrocities committed by our government against the Native Americans should leave. That would mean that the only people left would be people who are NOT offended by those atrocities. It would stand to reason that those who are offended would not be sympathetic to the cause of the Native Americans.

Did I really need to spell that out for you? Really?

@billclausen: "I think the lyrics of this George Harrison song are very apropos."

That song is AWFUL. Seriously. You listen to this crap?

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 4:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And by "empathized with the atrocities", I did not mean to indicate an empathy to the atrocities themselves, but, rather an empathy to the victims of those atrocities.

I made the mistake of listening to that horrific George Harrison song before posting, of which I was a victim of an atrocity to my musical sensibilities. Hence, my resulting confusion from that horrible tune led to a poor choice of words.

That song is just the worst.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 4:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This whole American Indian thing seems to have gotten out of hand.
Every one has been "wronged" at some point. Indians, slaves, Jews, Irish,Italians... and not to mention gays that are currently being "wronged".
I am a bit of everything including 1/16 Native American Indian. I do not feel anyone owes me anything just because my great, great grandmother was Native American.
Who set the % for Indian rights entitlement? Seems arbitrary that you have to be 1/4(I believe that is the right number).
The local Chumash have been more than compensated. Certainly a full Chumash would be in the top 1% of income earners.
Pay taxes, and get over it already!

loneranger (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 5:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@EatTheRich: I have to agree that WAS a crappy version and I do own an apology on that part. The Beatles' Anthology version--i.e. the raw studio version was much better--with a better bassline.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2012 at 1:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What a bunch of rascist idiots you are!!...
Uneducated dolts, especially those who portend great knowledge....
Good thing you have a computer to hide behind...

PeterPeli (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2012 at 12:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

But at least we can spell. And you seem to be the only one to see Race as an issue (Chumash is a Race?) so I wonder who the real racist really is.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2012 at 12:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The local Chumash reservation used to be a major eyesore and ghetto. Now it is generating revenue and is an asset to the tribe, the tribal community, and the valley. The 'lost' property revenue seems to be more than made up in sales tax and employment. The past was bad but is done. Let's ALL move forward as a friendly community.

P.S. I am embarrassed to see racist and personal attacks between a couple of players in my fair city. Please exchange phone numbers or emails and 'take it off line'.

P.S. my ancestors (and family) include those who were hated for being Puritan; Irish; Scottish; Dutch; English; Loyalists; American Revolutionaries; Quaker; Native American; Mormon, in the military; on peace marches, etc. let's move forward and enjoy life and mature debate with laughter.

passagerider (anonymous profile)
July 21, 2012 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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