January 7, 2022 – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today the release of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Siletz Casino Project in Salem, Oregon. This release of the EA is a significant step forward for the Siletz Casino Project as the EA is an important component to obtaining federal approval. The EA assesses the environmental impacts resulting from the development of a gaming facility and hotel by the Siletz Tribe on federal land that has been held in trust for the Tribe since 2000.
“We know that the Siletz Casino Project will bring significant investments to the surrounding community and to all federally recognized Tribes in Oregon,” said Dee Pigsley, Tribal Council Chairman, The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. “We look forward to advancing the discussion with the community about all the ways the project will improve transportation infrastructure, job growth and other important challenges facing the community.”
The EA was prepared by the BIA and is a comprehensive evaluation of all matters related to the development of the Siletz Casino Project and its impact on both the Siletz Tribe and the local community. Factors evaluated in the EA include everything from transportation infrastructure to public services such as fire and police support to environmental issues related to surface and wastewater. The EA identifies potential impacts and includes measures that will be used to address and mitigate any identified impacts.
The Siletz Tribe welcomes public review of the environmental document and its supporting studies. The public comment period will be open from January 7, 2022 to April 8, 2022. Copies of the EA are available online at https://siletzsalemcasinonepa.com or the Salem Public Library located at 585 Liberty Street SE, Salem, Oregon 97301.
A close partnership and constant communication with fellow Indian Tribes and the Salem/ Keizer community is critically important to the Siletz Tribe. The Siletz Tribe looks forward to hearing the community’s feedback and encourages participation in the online virtual public meeting scheduled on January 26, 2022, from 6:00 pm until the final comment is heard. For more information about attending, visit https://siletzsalemcasinonepa.com.
The Siletz Casino Project is an initiative to build Oregon’s first gaming facility that will directly share revenue with eight other Oregon Tribes, the State of Oregon and local governments. The casino will be home to 1,200 living wage jobs and provide ample opportunities for local small businesses to thrive. The purpose of the proposed Siletz Casino Project is to facilitate tribal self-sufficiency, self-determination and economic development, thus satisfying the principal goal of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Tribe expects to generate $185 million in annual revenue in the first year of operation, growing to $231 million by the third year. Find out more about the project benefits at www.siletz.org/community.
Based on the analysis and impacts discussed in the EA and comments received during the public review period, the BIA will decide whether to reach a Finding of No Significant Impact, direct further work on the EA or initiate the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. The Secretary of the Interior will then decide whether the Siletz Casino Project satisfies the requirements of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and issue her determination on whether the project is in the best interest of the Siletz Tribe and not detrimental to the surrounding community.
The Secretary will share her decision, if positive, with the Governor of the State of Oregon. The Governor will have one year to concur or reject the project. During that time, all interested stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide input. For more information about the authorization timeline and process, download this fact sheet.
When all approvals are met, construction of the Siletz Casino Project will commence. It is estimated this could occur in 2024 or 2025. For more information about the project, visit www.siletz.org/casino.
About the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians is a confederation of all the tribes of western Oregon. In the 1800s, Siletz ancestors were removed from their homelands and moved to the Siletz Reservation on the coast. Its tribal headquarters is located in Siletz, Oregon and the Tribe has operated government offices in Salem, Portland, Eugene, Lincoln City and Siletz for over 40 years. To find out more about the project, visit www.siletz.org.