SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Ynez Band of CHumash Indians released the following information Tuesday:
Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians announced the tribe's decision to withdraw the Tribal Land Consolidation and Acquisition (TCA) Plan the tribe submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
"We listened to our neighbors about their concerns regarding the TCA," Chairman Armenta said. "Although the TCA is simply a planning jurisdiction between the tribe and the BIA, carries no land use implications nor does it impact existing property rights, there was enough concern from community members to cause us to reconsider our TCA submission."
Chairman Armenta also referenced the tribe's apprehension about the decision by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to fight the tribe on the TCA.
"The tribe had hoped to work with the county government to negotiate a way to mitigate potential impacts of the Camp 4 land," said Chairman Armenta. "Instead of working with the tribe on a government-to-government basis, the Board of Supervisors chose to fight the tribe. We don't want to see Santa Barbara County spend millions of dollars in litigation fighting the tribe on the TCA."
The tribe submitted its TCA to the BIA to help identify the tribe's ancestral land. "By filing the TCA, we wanted to ensure there was official recognition of the fact that our tribe has a deep historical connection to this area - part of which includes the tribe's Camp 4 land," said Chairman Armenta.
In April 2010, the tribe purchased Camp 4 - 1,390 acres of Santa Ynez ranch land - and has been working to place the land into federal trust. The tribe hopes to build homes on Camp 4 for tribal members and their families. The TCA is one factor the BIA considers when reviewing federal trust applications.
Chairman Armenta said the tribe will continue on its quest to get its Camp 4 land placed into federal trust by either the administrative route or the legislative route.
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates several businesses in Santa Barbara County, including the Chumash Casino Resort, Hotel Corque, Root 246, the Hadsten House and two gas stations.