From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Urgent Action Required – Help Stop Reservation Shopping – Deadline Nov Land Rights Network American Land Rights Association PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604 Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: http://www.landrights.org Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003 Urgent Action Required – Help Stop Reservation Shopping – Deadline Nov. 17th Kenosha Indian Casino EIS Mail Deadline Nov. 17th. Reservation Shopping is where an Indian tribe buys private land and gets the government to convert it into a new Indian Reservation away from the where the tribe was indigenous. This kind of Reservation Shopping can be within a state or from state to state. Often these new reservations are dropped right in the middle of communities who do not want them. Or they are adjacent to communities who do not want them. As of now the local communities have little or no say in the process. You can help change that. Communities ought to be able to determine their future. A new Indian Reservation should not be allowed to be imposed without a vote by all affected communities. Tribes should not be able to set up new reservations just because the location has a freeway with an off ramp close to a population center. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has just published a new reservation Casino Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Kenosha, Wisconsin. Your Comments Can Help Stop This Attack On Surrounding Communities Congress is now considering legislation to change the law and not allow Reservation Shopping. Your comments are really important. By filling out and mailing the Comment Questionnaire discussed below, you personally can help bring a halt to this assault on local communities. Dear Friend: Mail Deadline For Your Comments is Thurs,, Nov. 17th. Action Items: -----1. You can print out a copy of a special Casino Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Comment Questionnaire and mail it to American Land Rights at PO Box 400, Battle Ground, WA 98604. It will only take you a few minutes. American Land Rights will then make copies for the US Senate and House and make sure your original gets delivered to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) If you prefer, you can mail it directly to the BIA at the address on the Comment Questionnaire. You can fax or e-mail it as late as Monday, November 21st. The fax number is (612) 713-4401. You may also fax it to (360) 687-2973 and we will forward it to BIA. Go to www.landrights.org The EIS Comment Questionnaire is right on the home page at the top. Remember, we agree with all the statements, but you don’t have to. You can add your own comments and edit ours. -----2. The EIS comment period is way too short. It ends Monday, November 21st, unless it is extended. The BIA, by offering a short comment period, is really saying they don’t want you to comment. You can show them you’re not going to let them get away with this short comment period. You should call your Congressman and both Senators at the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121 today to request the comment period be extended. A request from a Member of Congress for an EIS extension is almost always granted but you cannot count on it. Make your calls immediately. -----3. Order your own personal hard copy of the EIS. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has published an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Menominee Indian Kenosha Casino project. If you have not already ordered a copy, you may do so by calling Herb Nelson at (612) 725-4510. Make sure to order the hard copy paper version. Ask your friends to call as well. -----4. The BIA held only one hearing and that was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the hometown of the proposed Casino. The BIA totally ignored the concerns of surrounding communities including Milwaukee and all of Illinois. When you call your Congressman and Senators, ask that at least two more hearings be held -- in Milwaukee and in the area near Chicago, Illinois. -----5. The EIS virtually ignores all of Illinois, the border of which is only six miles from the Casino site. The BIA rules say they should go at least 10 miles. Our view is that they should go much further in order to reach the communities that will be affected by the negative consequences and social costs of the proposed Casino. Ask your Congressman for an extension and more hearings. -----6. Make sure you give copies of the Comment Questionnaire to at least three other people. Background: You are facing what we believe is a significant threat to your area. The Menominee Indian Tribe has joined the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut and is engaging in reservation shopping. By returning this questionnaire, you can make sure to get your concerns in the official legal record. Reservation shopping is an Indian Tribe acquiring private land outside the indigenous boundary of the tribe, taking it off the tax rolls, and converting it into an Indian Reservation for the purpose of building a large gambling casino. The Menominee Kenosha Casino will be a massive $808 million 3,200 position casino sitting on 223 acres along with the existing Dairyland Dog Track and a hotel resort complex. A recent poll in Wisconsin suggested that over two-thirds of the citizens think enough is enough. That off-reservation gaming must be brought to a halt. We think most people agree. An EIS is one way the Bureau of Indian Affairs decides whether or not to allow a new casino off reservation on what was formerly private land. The Bureau of Indian Affairs appears to be biased when dealing with pending applications for fee to trust status and for reservation status. There is only one place in the process for local citizens or governments to be officially recognized or have any opportunity to comment on a new tribal gambling proposal like this. At present, the Governor of a state is the only elected official with the ability to say no. Congress must change the law to give local government the power to control their future. In the meantime, this EIS is the only place you get to officially get your comments in. Based on the public comments on the study and the study itself, Terry Virden, Regional Director of the BIA recommends or does not recommend taking this land into trust for gaming to the Secretary of Interior. Acting on his decision, the Secretary then formally takes the land into trust or refuses to do so if there is a reason, to do so. Based on past practice, the Secretary of Interior usually follows the Regional Director’s recommendation. This proposal is similar to the one made in 2000, which stirred a substantial amount of opposition. Here are some other concerns expressed about this and similar proposals: A. An $808 million Kenosha gambling facility will drain business away from various entertainment venues including hotels, restaurants, and special entertainment attractions such as shopping centers. B. A Kenosha Casino will increase the number of problem gamblers and will likely not provide near enough revenues to local governments to address their increased social needs. Some communities along the Lake have a much larger population than Kenosha County and will feel the greatest social impacts yet will receive no funds or have any say in how this casino is run. C. The Menominee and Mohegan Tribes are engaging in “reservation shopping.” “Reservation shopping” is where an Indian Tribe looks for a new casino site based on their new definition of “sacred ground.” That is, where there is a freeway off-ramp close to a population center. This is often across state lines or even within a state where the Tribe has virtually no aboriginal history. “Reservation shopping” is being examined closely now by the Congress. A new bill has been offered in Congress to bring reservation shopping to a halt. D. A Kenosha Casino will increase vehicle traffic in the entire area up and down the lake, worsening air pollution and causing more problems for citizens trying to shop and get to work. Congestion will be particularly bad on two major routes, U.S. 41 and Interstate 94. E. Since the Federal government created this casino boondoggle by passing the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988, Congress needs to step forward and help solve the problem. Your comments to the BIA will help Congress them get the message. F. No casino should be allowed on land that was private fee land and converted into Federal Indian Trust Land without a vote of the people within affected and nearby jurisdictions . Local communities need to have a say in their future. Thank you for cooperating with American Land Rights and the National Alliance Against Reservation Shopping to help protect your community from having its rights taken away. Your community should have a say in any casino development that will cost you money. Sincerely, Chuck Cushman PS. Please download or print out your Comment Questionnaire from www.landrights.org Fill it out, sign it and mail your comment questionnaire quickly. Today if possible. Be sure to mail it to American Land Rights, PO Box 400, Battle Ground, WA 98604. Or mail it directly to the BIA at the address on the Comment Questionnaire. We want your comments whether they agree with us or not. All will be forwarded to BIA and Congress. Please mail your comment questionnaire even if it appears to be late. The BIA may extend the comment deadline. Mail deadline – Thursday, November 17th. If you receive this message after that date, send your comments anyway because it is likely the comment period will be extended if enough people call. -- To unsubscribe from this mailing list; please visit http://governance.net and enter your email address.