Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 22, 2017 at 9:01 pm [View the story “Syracuse-Toledo Basketball 2017” on Storify] Comments
LONGVIEW — The Cowlitz Tribe’s decades-long battle for a reservation may not be over.Opponents to the Cowlitz Tribe’s Ilani Casino Resort have appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the tribe’s right to have a reservation on 156 acres of property near La Center.The Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde and Clark County have dropped out of the case, following the City of Vancouver’s withdrawal earlier this year. That leaves Citizens Against Reservation Shopping, the La Center cardroom owners and three private landowners in the suit.“We have believed in the principle of our issue from the very beginning. I haven’t sensed any waiver at all,” said John Bockmier, spokesman for the La Center cardrooms.Construction of the Cowlitz Tribe’s casino is about 70 percent complete, according to the tribe. The casino resort is expected to generate 1,000 new jobs when it opens next spring near Exit 16.Although Cowlitz Tribe is a relevant party in the case, the suit is actually against the U.S. Department of Interior, which took the land into trust on behalf of the tribe last year. In July, an appeals court sided with a lower court’s 2014 ruling in favor of the federal government.