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Santa Ynez Valley
P.O. Box 244
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
9-16-13 October 7 Deadline – Camp 4 Annexation & TCA Opposition Letters to the BIA
CAMP 4 ANNEXATION & TCA OPPOSITION LETTERS TO THE BIA
On July 12, 2013 the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians (Chumash) submitted an application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approval to annex (Fee-To-Trust) the 1443-acre “Camp 4” property at the intersection of Highways 154 and 246, the gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley. Contained in this application for annexation are Exhibits C & D, the Tribal Consolidation & Acquisition Plan (TCA) mapping out 11,000+ acres of the Santa Ynez Valley that would be fast-tracked for annexation by the Chumash. Annexation permanently removes property from county jurisdiction including lost property tax revenue, and allows the tribe to develop the property in whatever manner they wish. On September 10, 2103, the County of Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors, under strong pressure from the community, voted to appeal the BIA approval of the TCA. The community came together to protest approval of the TCA and were successful in lobbying the Board of Supervisors to support their community against the taking of this land. But that is not enough. The legal appeal filed by the County does not affect the October 7 public comment deadline for protesting the Camp 4 annexation (Environmental Assessment).
We need your help – please write to the BIA now!
This is easy! Appropriate arguments are provided below for your use.
Your help is once again urgently needed to meet the October 7 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) deadline the community has to voice their concerns regarding the 1400-acre Camp 4 annexation which includes the 11,000+-acre Tribal Consolidation & Acquisition Plan. It is paramount that the BIA hear from as many people in the community as possible. Not only does your communication send the message to the BIA letting them know that the community opposes annexation of land in our valley, but it lays the ground-work to show that the community did, in fact, oppose annexation in a timely manner should future legal action become necessary to stop the annexation.
Congratulations to all of you who wrote to the BIA last month requesting extension of the public comment period. It worked! Under pressure from the many, many emails and letters from the citizens of this community, we were successful in obtaining from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) an extension of the Chumash tribe’s Camp 4 annexation application (Environmental Assessment) public comment period until Monday, October 7, 2013. This comment period is the opportunity the public has to voice their concerns or opposition to the 930-page Camp 4 annexation application (which includes as Exhibits C & D the 11,000+ acre approved “Land Consolidation & Acquisition Plan-Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians”). We urge you to send your letter now to:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chad Roussard, Environmental Protection Specialist, BIA) (include your name and mailing address in your email or snail mail)
By letter: Amy Dutschke, Regional Director
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office
2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825
Here is an excellent link to the Camp 4 annexation application (Environmental Assessment): http://countyofsb.org/ceo/default.aspx?id=44068
IMPORTANT: Comments must be ‘content specific’ to the Environmental Assessment portion of the annexation application. The BIA will not accept correspondence that merely states ‘we are opposed to annexation of Camp 4’. Your correspondence must state the environmental-related reason(s) you are opposed. Listed below are some of the ‘environmental-related’ arguments for opposing annexation. Feel free to adapt these in your own words in your correspondence to the BIA. The important thing is to get your email or letter to the BIA!
Excerpted, with thanks, from an excellent letter to the BIA submitted by Kelly Gray:
On page 2-3, the Chumash plan to provide their own waste water treatment plan. Camp 4 sits atop of the aquafer that supports a significant portion of Santa Barbara County. Who would represent the whole population that relies on that water in terms of oversight of the proposed Chumash waste water treatment?
- On page 2-4, the following representation is made: No gaming would occur on the subject property. The Chumash obtained 2 gaming permits....they have used only one to date. It would be negligent for your analysis of the EA to ignore the potential construction of a casino on Camp 4/TCA land.
- On pages 2-6/7, the following is stated: The County, Solvang/Santa Ynez Sheriff Substation provides general public safety and law enforcement service for the project area. The Sheriff Substation is located in Solvang, approximately three miles from the project site. It provides 24-hour service to the Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang area.The County Fire Department (Fire Department) provides structural fire protection services to the project area. The Fire Department protects primarily residential areas, and responds to calls for structural fires as well as medical emergencies.
The Chumash have said they would be willing to pay $10 Million to compensate the County for the loss of tax revenue from Camp 4. The $10 Million in no way provides adequate compensation for the in perpetuity loss of tax revenues if the 1,400 acres is taken in Trust, let alone addresses the significant new demands the existing County law enforcement and fire services that would result from the proposed development of this now virtually undeveloped pristine land.
- On page 2-7, the following is stated:To meet increased demands, the Tribe would develop an on-site water supply system using groundwater. There is no information as to how the potential increased demand, let alone the stated increased demand will impact all of the existing and future needs of all of the populations who are dependent upon the aquifer.
- On page 2-8, the following is stated: Existing access roads would be improved and new roads constructed to provide access to the proposed residences and existing agricultural operations. The EA does not speak to the impact of the additional traffic that would result from the stated proposed development of Camp 4, let alone the potential development that is NOT addressed but reasonably anticipated to fulfill the economic opportunities the Chumash have stated will be provided to allow "the Tribe to continue to build economic self sufficiency through diversified tribally-governed commercial enterprises." (Page 1-7)
- On page 2-10, the following is stated: "All identified wetland areas and California Live Oak would be avoided to the maximum extent feasible." The term "feasible" is subjective. Although not bound by State and local laws on Trust lands, the Chumash have voted on State and local measures on their ballots. State and local laws have been enacted specifically to protect wetland areas and California Live Oak for the enjoyment of OUR future generations. "We the people" - including the Chumash - have elevated the future value of these environmental protection objectives over all other potential uses of the land on which they are located.
- On page 2-12, the following is stated: "The tribal facilities would include development of a banquet/exhibition hall designed with an agriculture/equestrian theme, associated administrative spaces, a tribal office complex, and a tribal community space including ceremony room and gymnasium....Approximately 400 parking spaces would be provided for the facilities."
Nowhere in the 930 page EA does the Tribe address the environmental impact, let alone the broader community impact, of the use of a facility on Camp 4 that necessitates 400 parking spaces. The proposed "community event facilities are stated to encompass nearly 80,000 square feet!. (page 2-14).
Santa Ynez Valley residents already are gravely concerned about and pursuing laws to regulate and restrict the number of special events that may be hosted at wineries and other privately owned facilities due to the traffic, light and sound pollution, and other negative impacts caused by these events.
- On page 2-16 the following is stated: "Impacts to biological resources would be greater under Alternative A due to the size of the assignments. Under Alternative A, approximately 330.11 acres of critical habitat for a protected species would be removed from designation. Under Alternative B, approximately 65.28 acres of the critical habitat would be removed from designation. Both alternatives would adversely impact water of the U.S., special-status species, protected oak trees, and migratory birds without the implementation of mitigation."
The Chumash concede that their proposed developments for Camp 4 adversely impact biological resources, protected species, protected trees and migratory birds. It is your obligation to determine, as a matter of fact, that the proposed development of Camp 4 by the Chumash warrant these adverse consequences.
- On page 2-16, the following is stated: "No adverse impacts to socioeconomic conditions or environmental justice would result from the implementation of either project alternative..."
This is a broad conclusion...not a statement of fact. Mr. Broussard, please fulfill your duty to exercise your own due diligence so that you may come to your own conclusions as to what adverse impacts would result from the pursuit of either Alternative A or Alternative B. Please review Alternative A and Alternative B against the background of the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan.
- On page 4-69, the following is stated: "A project that would induce “disorderly” growth (i.e., would conflict with local land use plans) could indirectly cause adverse environmental or public service impacts."
The County has spoken to what is deemed to be "orderly growth". This statement is incorporated in the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan. Neither Alternative A nor Alternative B are incorporated in the county's vision of orderly growth.
- On the same page (4-69) the following is stated: "No significant, unmitigated impacts have been identified that would result from the implementation of Alternative A or Alternative B." Please exercise your own due diligence and do not merely adopt these conclusions. The term "significant" is highly subjective, and it is extremely significant to non-Chumash majority members of this community that any development of Camp 4 have minimal detrimental impacts on our use and enjoyment of our home.