The Shooting Star Casino in Bagley, Minnesota, is one of two gaming facilities operated by the White Earth Nation. Photo: Shooting Star Casino - Bagley

White Earth Nation faces longer environmental review of third gaming facility

The White Earth Nation is facing a longer wait on plans for a third gaming facility in Minnesota.

According to news reports, the board of commissioners in Otter Tail County voted to require an environmental impact statement for the proposed casino at Star Lake. Opponents took the decision as a sign that the project won't be approved quickly.

"This means a more stringent review of the project is required due to the potential significant environmental effects and other concerns, including socio-economic issues," the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group said in an update on its website after the vote.

The tribe's attorney was present at the meeting but news reports weren't clear on the tribe's reaction to the decision. Based on the attorney's presentation, columnist Mike McFeely believes the tribe is considering some form of "legal action."

The tribe doesn't need approval to open a casino on a 14.5-acre trust property at Star Lake in Otter Tail County. Additional developments -- such as a hotel, recreational vehicle park and a convention center -- on 225 acres surrounding the site must be approved by the county unless those parcels are placed in trust.

The Star Lake site is separated from the main reservation, where the tribe operates two Shooting Star casinos.

Read More on the Story:
OT County Commissioners vote to require an EIS for casino, resort project (KFGO August 23, 2017)
Mike McFeely: Casino opponents get a victory, for now (The Duluth News Tribune August 22, 2017)
Star Lake Casino Project Clears Another Hurdle (KVRR August 22, 2017)

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