Barstow Casino Takes a Giant Leap Forward
Department of Interior Publishes Environmental Impact Statement

Conceptual rendering of the proposed Barstow Casino

Show Your Support for the Los Coyotes Band and the City of Barstow

The Los Coyotes Band and the City of Barstow have been working together for more than 10 years to make the Barstow Casino and Resort a reality. Barstow City officials, residents and surrounding communities have expressed overwhelming support for this important project that will create more than 1,000 permanent jobs and provide opportunities for economic development and growth.

The U.S. Department of Interior has been reviewing this project for more than 8 years, and recently published the final Environmental Impact Statement – a crucial step in the approval process.

Although this is great news, we still have work to do. The U.S. Department of Interior still must complete the final two-step determination process – 1) the project is in the best interest of the tribe and 2) the project is not detrimental to the surrounding community – before the project can move forward.

We need your help. Write a letter, send a thank you card or email to Kevin Washburn at the U.S. Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to thank them for their work and for publishing the final Environmental Impact Statement, allowing this important project to move forward. Every day that the project is delayed is another day without economic growth, job creation and prosperity.

If you need help getting started, below is a list of talking points and sample letters to use as a guide. You can use the talking points to help craft a letter and personalize it with your own comments.

Email Letters To:

Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs
Kevin.washburn@bia.gov

Mail Letters To:

Kevin Washburn
Indian Affairs
MS-3071-MIB
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240

Talking Points

  • Barstow residents overwhelmingly support this project. More then 80 percent of the voters in Barstow voted in support of the project.
  • More than 400 people attended the draft EIS hearing in Barstow, and every single local resident spoke in favor of the project.
  • The Los Coyotes Band and the City of Barstow have been working together for more than 10 years to make the project a reality. I remember attending the public hearings in 2006 and 2011.
  • Since this project began, we have gone through two presidents and three California governors.
  • The City and other local government officials, organizations and community leaders have expressed their support the project.
  • The City of Barstow was hit particularly hard by the recent economic downturn. Barstow has a 12 percent unemployment rate, significantly higher than the rest of the state and the country. Nearly 40 percent of its residents receive some form of government assistance.
  • Barstow desperately needs the more than 1,000 permanent jobs, 1,000 construction jobs, and related economic growth (nearly $200 million in capital investment) that the project would provide for its citizens and surrounding community.
  • The Los Coyotes Band and the City of Barstow cannot afford to lose this opportunity.

Sample Letter from Barstow Residents

Dear Secretary Washburn,

I am writing to thank you for publishing the Environmental Impact Statement for the Los Coyotes proposed casino project in Barstow, California.

Our community constantly struggles economically. Our unemployment rate has always between ten and fifteen percent, and we struggle to attract manufacturing and other long-term, high paying jobs.

Located in the middle of the desert, half way between Los Angles and Las Vegas, one thing we do have is traffic. More than 20 million cars pass through Barstow each year, many heading to or from gaming destinations. Many stop in Barstow to refuel their cars and their stomachs – but not much else. Barstow is the perfect spot for a casino to attract those people who are already traveling to a gaming venue.

The Los Coyotes Band and the City of Barstow have been working together on this project for more than 10 years. Barstow City officials and residents overwhelmingly support this project because it will provide relief for our struggling economy and the high unemployment rate among our citizens. While a single project cannot completely turn our city around, we are confident that the proposed casino will put us on a path to provide a brighter, stronger future for the Barstow community.

I would like to thank you and the Department of Interior for your work on this important project and allowing it to move forward.

On behalf on our community and for the sake of the members of the Los Coyotes Band, I ask that you complete the final two-step determination process so our community can enjoy the jobs, stability and economic growth that the proposed casino would create.

Sincerely,

[Your First Name] [Your Last Name]
[Address]
[City], [State] [Zip]

Sample Letter from Los Coyotes Tribal Members

I am writing to you as a member of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians regarding our fee-to-trust and two part determination requests for land in Barstow, California.

We want to thank you and the Department of Interior for publishing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and allowing this important project to move forward. As you know, the Los Coyotes Band and the City of Barstow have been working together for more than 12 years and are committed to the Los Coyotes gaming development in Barstow that will result in 1,000 permanent jobs and provide opportunities for economic growth and stability.

Unfortunately, the length of time that we have been waiting for approval for this project has caused significant hardship for both the Los Coyotes Band and the City of Barstow. Both of our communities desperately need this project so that we can address our distressed economies and unacceptably high unemployment rates.

We appreciate your commitment to expedite the release of the final EIS for publication in the Federal Register and also want to follow up regarding our circumstances that relate to the project and request approval for the two-part determination process.

As you may know, our reservation is located in a remote mountainous area with rugged terrain. As a result, our land remains largely undeveloped. Electricity was not brought to the reservation until 1999 and many sectors of the reservation are still not wired. Because of our remote location, difficult terrain and environmental sensitivity, meaningful economic development is impossible and the Los Coyotes Band has had no alternative but to seek land off-reservation for economic development.

The development project in Barstow is extremely important to both our Tribe and the City of Barstow. We encourage visit to our reservation so you can see first hand why this project means so much for our Tribe.

We appreciate your consideration and we sincerely hope that you will approval this important economic development project.

Sincerely,

[Your First Name] [Your Last Name]
[Address]
[City], [State] [Zip]

Sample Letter from Los Coyotes Tribal Members

Dear Mr. Washburn,

As a member of the Los Coyotes Bands of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians, I am writing to thank you for publishing the Final Environmental Impact Statement for our casino project in Barstow California.

As you may know, our Tribe is in desperate need of economic opportunities and jobs. The unemployment rate on our reservation is over 70 percent.

I encourage you to move quickly and approve the final fee-to-trust of the property in Barstow. If you took just one visit to reservation, it wouldn’t take long to determine that this casino would be a great benefit to all Tribal members.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

[Your First Name] [Your Last Name]
[Address]
[City], [State] [Zip]

 

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