WASHINGTON - Last week the U.S. Department of Interior 22 0f 30 off-reservation proposals after deciding commute times from reservations were too far and unreasonable. The change in policy was a setback to tribes hoping to establish casinos in areas with more favorable economic opportunities.
The proposal by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to build a casino complex 40 miles east of Portland in Cascade Locks was not rejected. Instead the Interior Department agreed to hold five more public hearings which keeps the proposal alive. Four hearings will be held in in Troutdale, Cascade Locks, Warm Springs, and Hood River and one in Stevenson, WA.
Some of the 22 proposals were rejected because they were incomplete. These included the Muckleshoot, Colville Confederated Tribes and the Lower Elwha in Washington state, and the Burns Paiute Tribe in Oregon. The Interior Department said applications by the four Northwest tribes were incomplete.
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