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(Klamath) Tribes apply for second casino

May 6, 2006 by STEVE KADEL H&N 

The Klamath Tribes submitted an application to build a second Oregon casino near Portland although a spokeswoman says there are no plans to proceed at this time.

The Tribes filed a tribal resolution with the Bureau of Indian Affairs' regional office in Portland, BIA deputy regional director Gerald Ben said Friday. The casino, if built, would be in Aurora, a small town in Clackamas County. That document is needed to show the request is coming from an entire tribe rather than just one member or council representative, he said.

Klamath Tribes spokeswoman Taylor David said the application was filed prior to an April 15 deadline stipulated in a bill by Sen. John McCain of Arizona. The legislation, which would shut the door on off-reservation casinos, is pending before Congress.

The Klamath Tribes operate Kla-Mo-Ya Casino on Highway 97, north of Klamath Falls near Chiloquin. They are among many tribes that acted prior to the McCain bill's deadline.

“The Klamaths ... felt it was necessary to submit an application, due to the fact that the cutoff date of April 15 was upon us,” said Rod Clarke, president of the Klamath Tribes Economic Development Corp., in a press release. “The Klamath Tribes simply submitted the application to ensure and preserve the option if we so choose in the future.”

He noted the Klamath Tribes Economic Development Corp. has a responsibility to its membership, and a right given to the Tribes by its Restoration Act, to keep business opportunities available to the Tribes.

Clarke said the Tribes will meet soon to inform members about McCain's bill and the casino application process.

“In the event these discussions finalize into a formal gaming or economic development proposal, you can be assured the corporation and the Tribes will release a notice for the press and our membership at the appropriate time,” he said. “At this point, we cannot comment on items that are simply speculation.”

Ben of the BIA said public hearings aren't always part of the approval process for casinos, unless there is an environmental impact. That generally refers to effects on nearby residents, he said.

“Applicants have to give complete legal descriptions of the property and the Bureau of Land Management reviews that,” he said.

Ben added that state, county and local governments may require additional documentation as casino development proceeds.




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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