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In the News

Keep up on the latest articles covering the Redding Rancheria Mega Casino Project.

Press Release: Federal Agency Releases Environmental Report on Proposed Casino at Strawberry Fields. 

For Immediate Release

March 29, 2024

Contact:     530.901.3414

info@speakupshasta.org

 

REDDING, CA – Nearly five years after issuing a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Redding Rancheria’s proposed casino at Strawberry Fields, the US Department of Interior has issued its “Final” Environmental Impact Statement.

 

“The release of the “Final” Environmental Impact Statement does not mean that a casino will be built at Strawberry Fields,” said Robb Korinke of Speak Up Shasta. “The Rancheria’s “deal” with the County of Shasta for law enforcement and other services is already facing a significant legal challenge, and our coalition of over 6,000 residents and local businesses stands with the City of Redding in absolute opposition to this project.” 
 

2,500-Page Report Reviews Traffic, Environmental and Economic Issues

The FEIS follows the original draft document in examining the likely impacts of the Rancheria’s proposed project over 2,500 pages of analysis and response to comments issued on the original document. Speak up Shasta has vehemently criticized numerous elements of the original EIS, and will be closely reviewing the FEIS for these same issues including:

Massive Traffic
As stated by the original Impact Report, this casino “would generate a significant increase in traffic”, more than 13,500 *New* vehicle trips per day. Critically, the traffic analysis completely ignored impacts to rush hour traffic in what has already become the most congested interchange in Shasta County.

Threats to Salmon, Eagles and Endangered Species
This stretch of river is essential to the survival of Salmon and Steelhead, listed as critical habitat, and is vital to their existence. The plan does not address the noise and light issues which will dramatically impact these endangered species. Bald Eagles have been seen to forage on this site. This is the symbol of our nation and is endangered in California.

Costs to Redding and Shasta County
If built, the original report noted the “Tribe would not pay corporate income taxes on revenue or property taxes on tribal land.” The shopping mall proposed by the Rancheria will not be subject to sales tax. That may mean slightly cheaper goods, but it won’t benefit our community, who has to pay for the police, fire, infrastructure, homeless services and other issues impacting our community. Notably, the “deal” struck between the Rancheria and Shasta County last year has come under legal scrutiny, and voters in March un-elected at least one of that deal’s chief advocates – despite his heavy financial backing from the Rancheria.

 

Document Ignores Cultural History of the Site

Extensive archaeological studies suggest Strawberry Fields is the site of the Sacramento River Massacre, which saw the killing of up to 1,000 Native Americans of the Wintu and other tribes.  Historian Benjamin Madley described as “one of the largest yet least-known massacres in the history of the United States”. Efforts to protect this site are underway and the massacre should be a central point of consideration prior to paving over an undeveloped pasture of great historical significance.

 

Does this Mean the Casino is Approved?


No. There are still several official Records of Decision required to grant the Rancheria gaming rights at Strawberry Fields and the ability to build the casino. The City of Redding still opposes the project and Speak up Shasta will be reviewing the over 2,500 pages of FEIS and its appendices in the coming days to see whether the significant issues about the proposal’s impacts to traffic, the river environment and other economic impacts to the community have been addressed.

 

What is Next for the Fight to Save Strawberry Fields?

The Redding Rancheria still has no approval to build their proposed mega casino, and the project is still opposed by the City of Redding and over 6,000 Shasta County residents. The release of the EIS – nearly five years after the draft was issued in 2019 – is a step in the process, but not definitive.

 

This is a long fight with many battles left. The FEIS is set to officially publish on Friday March 29. That will initiate a 30-day comment period during which time residents are strongly encouraged to send a clear message with their concerns about the project. If you have not signed the Speak Up Shasta petition, please do so at www.SpeakUpShasta.org so we can keep you informed about our ongoing efforts. 

Press Release: Nonprofit Group Sues Shasta County Board of Supervisors Over Agreement with Redding Rancheria

February 26, 2024

County’s Reckless Agreement to Provide Public Services to Casino Over Public Objections of County Legal and Public Safety Leaders at Issue

 

REDDING, CA -- On February 13, 2024, the California Land Stewardship Council filed a lawsuit against the Shasta County Board of Supervisors challenging the Board’s July 25, 2023, approval of a 30-year agreement to provide public emergency services for the Rancheria’s Win River casino in Redding. Speak Up Shasta vehemently opposed this Agreement last summer, and hundreds of SUS members registered their opposition in just a few days when the proposal was placed on the Board Agenda. SUS applauds the legal effort to hold the Board accountable and issued the following statement:

“This agreement will saddle future generations in Shasta County with as much as $100 million in costs to subsidize a project that thousands of residents have opposed for many years. It is unconscionable that the board would approve such a deal over the public objections of the Sheriff, Fire Chief, District Attorney, and their own lawyer. It is past time for the Board to be held accountable for mismanaging public resources and working against the will of local residents.” – Speak Up Shasta

In packed Board Chambers last July, the Board of Supervisors approved an Agreement over the objections of the County’s own Legal Counsel, the Sheriff, the County Fire Chief, and the District Attorney. These public officials opposed the Agreement stating that it fails to adequately compensate the County for the value of public emergency services.  A confidential legal opinion prepared by the County purportedly raised serious issues with language in the Agreement.

The 30-year Agreement commits the County to provide law enforcement, fire, and other public emergency services to the Rancheria for its casino. Estimates indicate that the Agreement will cost taxpayers in the County more than $100 million over the next 30 years. SUS documented at the time that the Win River casino generates as many as 300 calls per year just to the Shasta County Sheriff, and that similar deals between Tribal Nations in other Counties were valued at millions of dollars per year.

The lawsuit asserts the Board adopted the Agreement without disclosing supporting evidence or a cost-benefit analysis before entering into the Agreement, that the Board violated its own procedures in approving the Agreement and did not adequately consider public comments.  

Board members that voted to approve the Agreement include Supervisor Kevin Crye, Patrick Jones, Chris Kelstrom and Tim Garman. Supervisor Mary Rickert was the lone voted against this usurious agreement.

As SUS has previously noted, Board members that voted to enter into the Agreement have received significant political contributions from the Redding Rancheria. Supervisor Kevin Crye was involved in negotiating the Agreement with the Rancheria and proposed the Agreement for approval. The Redding Rancheria is now a leading contributor to the Recall effort targeting Crye, according to reports from KRCR. Notably the recall petition argued that Supervisor Crye has misused public resources and used public resources for his own personal gain.

In addition to the lawsuit, a public records request has been submitted to the County seeking all records relating to the Agreement, including emails, meeting notes, and text messages between Board members, the Redding Rancheria, and other parties.

Speak Up Shasta continues to oppose the Redding Rancheria’s proposed relocation to Strawberry Fields. That proposal still has no formal approval from the federal government and the fight is long from over. Please join our coalition at www.SpeakUpShasta.org.

Department of Interior Revokes Agreement and

Halts Redding Rancheria's Strawberry Fields Casino Expansion

 

In a critical announcement today, the Department of the Interior has officially invalidated the Rancheria Restored Lands “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU), which was enacted in 2016 between the Department of the Interior and the Redding Rancheria. The Redding Rancheria cannot proceed as previously proposed with their Casino relocation and expansion at Strawberry Fields in Shasta County.

Read the Full Speak Up Shasta Statement Here

Read the Dept. of Interior Letter Here

Dept. of Interior Announces Suspension of Redding Rancheria Casino Proposal? | Federal Register (May 14, 2020)

 

The Dept. of Interior gives us our first real information on the Rancheria's "Pause" of Casino Proposal Process. Information within contradicts Rancheria's initial statements. Read More Here.

 

Why Redding Rancheria's Plan to Expand, Relocate Win-River Casino has Caused a Divide | Redding Searchlight (Dec. 11, 2019)

 

A retrospective of the Redding Rancheria Casino Expansion Proposal including the decision by local elected officials to oppose, the significant community opposition to the project, and the impacts of the project. Read More Here.

 

Should People be Concerned about Crime when a Casino Moves Next Door? | Redding Searchlight (Dec. 11, 2019)

Community members, public safety officials, and elected officials voice concerns of increased crime should Win-River expand their casino. Read More Here.

Win-River Receives Another Blow in Plans to Move Casino | Redding Searchlight (Oct. 1, 2019)

Shasta County Board of Supervisors vote 5-0 to send a letter formally opposing the relocation of the Win-River Casino and Resort to Strawberry Fields. Read More Here.

Shasta County Supervisors Unanimously Oppose Win-River Casino Project | KRCR (Oct. 1, 2019)

Shasta County Board of Supervisors vote 5-0 to send a letter formally opposing the relocation of the Win-River Casino and Resort to Strawberry Fields. Read More Here.

Rancheria Dials Back Amphitheater Plan as Redding Council Files New Objections | Redding Searchlight (Aug. 23, 2019)

Redding City Council votes 5-0 to send letter formally opposing Win-River Casino Expansion.  Redding Rancheria CEO Tracy Edwards announced that the Tribe would pull back plans for the Outdoor Music Amphitheater. Read More Here.

OPINION: Proposed Casino Bad for Redding Businesses | Redding Searchlight (Aug. 17, 2019)

Redding Resident and Physician lays out his opinion on why the Casino Expansion would negatively impact Redding. Read More Here.

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