Opinion | Trust

Editorial: Chumash Tribe should forego land-into-trust process

"A sensitive local issue has come up again, and we expect many people, like a community with a sensitive tooth, to flinch this time and every time it’s touched upon.

The issue is the desire of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to take property they own “into trust,” meaning that the land would become part of their reservation. Because the tribe is a sovereign nation, annexation puts land outside of local planning and zoning laws and takes it off the local tax rolls.

The tribe and opponents have been fighting in court for years about the possible annexation of 6.9 acres the tribe owns right across the highway from the reservation in Santa Ynez.

This time, the issue is 1,400 acres of ranch land several miles away at Highway 154 and Armour Ranch Road. We expect the resistance from many people in the valley to be proportionately larger as well, and for some valid reasons.

Tribal leaders bristle at resistance to any of their plans. They point out the good relationships they have forged with many local business and nonprofit groups, and they dismiss public criticism by saying it comes only from a small fraction of Valley people, particularly the community groups POLO and POSY (Preservation of Los Olivos and Preservation of Santa Ynez).

They are even quicker to point out their rights as a sovereign tribe, and they emphasize that development on tribal property is indeed required to go through public environmental review, but in a federal process rather than state and county ones."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribe should work with local planning rules (The Solvang Valley News 3/17)

Another Opinion:
Bob Field: Tribal annexation issue surfaces again (The Solvang Valley News 3/17)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Chumash Tribe lobbying Rep. Gallegly on land-into-trust (3/10)
Local official claims Chumash Tribe doesn't need land-into-trust (3/8)
Opinion: Groups fight Chumash Tribe land-into-trust application (2/24)
Groups claim Chumash Tribe can't follow land-into-trust process (08/23)
Groups question BIA review of Chumash land-into-trust (4/29)
Opinion: Chumash Tribe wields influence on land-into-trust (04/08)
Chumash Tribe purchases ranch property for reported $40M (4/6)
BIA reaches MOU for California land-into-trust consortium (4/1)
Groups claim BIA wants to study Chumash land-into-trust (3/29)
Groups file first brief over Chumash land-into-trust (02/22)
Groups battle BIA over Chumash land-into-trust (11/12)
California a battleground after land-into-trust ruling (3/6)

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