Capay Valley Coalition files a legal challenge to oppose Caltrans's plans for State Route 16 Safety Improvement Project.

Capay Valley Coalition (CVC) is a community organization committed to agricultural viability and safety in western Yolo County. We would appreciate your support and donations to pay for our legal effort. Checks may be sent to: Capay Valley Coalition, P.O.Box 894, Esparto,CA 95627

New Trust Taking in Capay Valley

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation (formerly Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians) has made a request to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to change the status of 853 acres of land the tribe owns in the Capay Valley from fee land to trust (reservation) status. The impacts of this action are two fold:

  1. Land in trust is not subject to local, county, or state zoning laws. Once land has been placed in trust status, the intended use can be changed. The tribe stated on their application that they want to use approximately 100 acres of this land for more housing leaving the remainder in agriculture. However, the truth is, the land use can be changed to anything decided by the Tribe - now - or 100 years from now. The BIA freely admits that land use can be changed once it goes into trust. In previous takings, land that was placed in trust for houses became a casino. Later - land that was taken for houses became a golf course.

  2. The Tribe has no civil legal accountability; therefore no neighbor or affected party has legal recourse for harmful actions emanating from trust lands. Affected parties lack due process under the law. The proposed 853 acres adjoins numerous parcels owned by many different neighbors whose lands and lives could be seriously impacted by this taking The County and State will have no oversight on land use, water, septic, air quality, etc.

The Yocha DeHe Wintun "Nation" is a casino funded developer with great influence with our local and state government and officials. Over the past 20 years YDWN has used casino profits to purchase over 10,000 acres in the Capay Valley. If the current 853 acre proposal is approved, there would be no acceptable argument to keep the rest of the valley from being placed into trust at YDWN's request.

Concentration of this much power and money without legal recourse is a recipe for disaster for this generation and future generations.

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors expressed similar land use concerns in comments to the regional BIA through the various stages in the process. However, the BOS decided behind closed doors, and for reasons they won't explain, not to take the next step which is an administrative appeal to the Dept of Interior Board of Indian Appeals.

The Capay Valley Coalition stepped in and filed an appeal timely and will be moving the process forward. For more details, a timeline, and access documents submitted by YDWN, the BIA, Yolo County, and the CVC go to this page.

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