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The key section of the recently released Bureau of Indian Affairs environmental impact statement summarizes why the proposed Spokane Tribe casino and project doesn't impede or endanger the operation of Fairchild Air Force Base, west of town. A major argument cited by critics was the fear that future Base Relocation and Closure reviews would lead to a reduction in operations at Fairchild.
The proposed casino would be about 1.5 miles away from the main gate of Fairchild.
The attached document (linked below) is the third chapter which is the BIA comments and responses.
The pages worth looking at are 3-13 through 3-18.
Here's the summarized response:
“For the reasons described above and in Section 4.9 of the Final EIS, the Proposed Project would have no impact on Fairchild AFB’s military value based on the evaluation criteria historically used by past BRAC committees to develop recommendations for base realignment and closure.
As described in Section 4.9 of the Final EIS, implementation of the Proposed Project would not encroach upon Fairchild AFB’s available air space or impede its ability to implement the operational and training mission of the installation because:
1) with the implementation of mitigation recommended in Section 5.0 of the Final EIS the Proposed Project would not create an air navigation hazard or otherwise impede Fairchild AFB operations;
2) the Tribe has agreed to accept any inconveniences associated with AFB operations during operation of the Proposed Project; and 3) the Fairchild AFB has confirmed that it will not alter its flight patterns in response to complaints from the Tribe related to nuisances on the project site. Therefore, with identified mitigation measures contained in Section 5.0, the Proposed Project is not considered an “encroachment” that would make Fairchild AFB vulnerable to closure”
In case you didn't know, tonight is the public hearing hosted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding the Spokane Tribe's impact statement for a proposed casino and resort on the edge of Airway Heights.
The hearing starts at Sunset Elementary School in Airway Heights. The map shows the location. It starts at 6 p.m.
If you go expect plenty of back and forth on how and why this is either a good jobs-producing proposal or a dangerous precedent and a likely encroachment on Fairchild Air Force Base. Officially and completely honestly, OfficeHours is taking no sides on this issue. We wish both sides stick the facts and avoid overblown rhetoric.
For a summary of the proposal and the EIS, it's at this link.
The federal government broke its word over a land deal with an Indian tribe from Idaho and Nevada, reports AP reporter John Miller, stymieing economic development plans that could include gaming and resurrecting native groups' enduring mistrust for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Click below for his full report on how the federal goverment transferred a 26-acre parcel along I-84 just east of Boise to the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, whose remote reservation has 40 percent unemployment, then canceled the transfer months later.
A former federal law enforcement agent, who was fired after he investigated police corruption on the Spokane Indian Reservation, has won a $400,000 lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs for malicious prosecution.
The ruling in U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington by senior Judge Justin Quackenbush was an emphatic condemnation of the bureau for the treatment of its own agent, Duane Garvais (right), at the behest of the Spokane Tribe.
“The BIA maliciously caused the institution and continuation of unfounded criminal proceedings against Duane Garvais in Spokane Tribal Court in retaliation for the proper performance of his duties in investigating thefts by BIA patrol officers with close connections to the Tribe,” Quackenbush ruled Wednesday after a non-jury trial.
Read the rest of Kevin Graman’s story here, with links to past coverage.