BIA prefers Cascade Locks site for new Warm Springs casino

7 Aug

If you haven’t heard yet, the Bureau of Indian Affairs on Friday released its final environmental impact statement on the proposed Cascade Locks location for a new Warm Springs Tribal casino.

The BIA says the Cascade Locks site is its preferred site for a casino, compared to property east of Hood River or elsewhere on the Warm Springs reservation.

The BIA is taking public comment through Sept. 6, and will issue its record of decision in November. If you want to review a hard copy of the EIS, you can find one at the Hood River County offices, 601 State St.; the White Salmon Library, Town and Country Square; and the Mosier Library on Third St. Other locations are listed online (note that the Hood River Library is listed, but remains closed).

Small type at bottom of ad from The Oregonian notes that it was paid for by Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

Tribal officials and officials with the Port of Cascade Locks and city government were excited about the news, even though it’s just one step forward in a process that seems to have bogged down in a morass of political and bureaucratic goo.

Even though Gov. Ted Kulongoski has expressed support for the project, he is heading toward the exit door and the two pretenders to the throne — John Kitzhaber and Chris Dudley — have expressed reservations (no pun intended) and outright opposition.

Add in the historic opposition by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Tribe and its political allies, the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and you should expect that the debate is far from resolved.

We may even get to see a revival of their deceptive and inflammatory ad campaign, which suggested that the proposal would put the Las Vegas strip right on top of Crown Point (see photo).

So, where does that leave the project? In a better position than it was on Thursday, but no closer to reality.

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