Groups file first brief over Chumash land-into-trust
Two groups filed their opening brief in a challenge to the land-into-trust application of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians of California.

Preservation of Los Olivos (POLO) and Preservation of Santa Ynez (POSY) say the Bureau of Indian Affairs doesn't have authority to acquire land for the tribe. The brief cites the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, which limits the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.

The groups say the BIA hasn't determined whether the Chumash qualify to follow the process. The brief also says the tribe doesn't need the land in question.

The tribe plans to use 6.9 acres for a retail building, a cultural center, a museum and a commemorative park. The property sits across the street from the tribe's casino.

The case is before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. A federal judge last year awarded the groups $250,000 in legal fees after they won a decision that said they have standing to challenge the BIA.

Get the Story:
Groups argue case against Chumash annex (The Santa Maria Times 2/21)

Related Stories:
Groups battle BIA over Chumash land-into-trust (11/12)
California a battleground after land-into-trust ruling (3/6)

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