KPBS: Tribes in California lobby lawmakers to protect sacred sites
Posted: Monday, September 5, 2011
"The Pechanga Band, which owns the largest casino on the west coast, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby for a state bill, AB 742, to block the Liberty Quarry. The band argues the project in the hills south of Temecula is on sacred ground where their original ancestors lived.
AB 742 is making its way through the state legislature. In the mean time, Riverside’s Planning Board rejected the project 4 to 1 this week, after several heated hearings.
Meanwhile, a bill (SB 833) to block a proposed landfill in Gregory Canyon passed the legislature this week. SB 833’s author, State Senator Juan Vargas, said one reason he opposes it is because it is close to Pala Indian sacred land.
“There are people that lived here for hundreds of thousands of years,” Vargas said. "Some areas are sacred and should be respected. Not all land is fungible. There has to be some meaning, and respect for people's tradition.”"
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