Stop HR 597. Do not make land next to Windsor, CA into a sovereign nation.
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Congressman Jeff Denham's legislation HR 597- Lytton Rancheria Homelands Act of 2017 (formerly Rep. Jared Huffman's bill HR 2538) would move the 500 non-contiguous acres purchased by the Lytton Rancheria at the western edge of Windsor, CA into federal trust, exempting the land from local zoning and planning regulations. The land, which has no historical connection to the Lytton Rancheria, would become a sovereign nation. The plan will allow 147 homes (with 214 more homes planned) to be built, as well as a 200-room hotel, 200,000 case winery and event center to be developed nearby.
We urge government officials to not support HR 597 which was introduced by Rep. Jeff Denham who does not even represent the district that would be impacted by his legislation. Denham's district is 150 miles away from the district where this land would go into trust. Denham introduced this bill after the Lytton donated over $83,000 to his reelection funds and PAC in recent years.
Moving the land into federal trust will have a disastrous environmental impact on the land and our community: 1,500 oak trees on the property would be cut and one of the best preserved oak woodlands in the area would be destroyed. The move will develop areas outside of Windsor’s urban growth boundary, leading to developments that are incompatible with the rural nature of that land, and local land-use zoning.
We ask also that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) not transfer the land into federal trust, and that the Windsor Town Council pass a new resolution saying they are against the land going into federal trust.
Local residents have not been given a fair hearing on this issue. Last year when a similar bill (HR 2538) was introduced, no residents were allowed to testify before the House Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee during the hearing on the bill. We ask you to request that The Honorable Norma Torres, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs, invite members of the public who oppose this bill to testify, and help educate the subcommittee on how damaging this bill would be to our local community.
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