July 14, 2014
Land purchase by the Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley has caused a heated debate in the Napa area.
A lawsuit for tribal status was filed in 2009 wanting to be recognized by the federal government. The case has been ongoing since that time. Tribal recognition would mean that they would be treated as a sovereign nation. Land that is owned by the tribe would be considered tribal land. Therefore local zoning restrictions and land use regulations would not apply.
Local vintners in the Napa area are concerned about what a casino would do to their community and environment.
Leaders of the Wappo state that there are no current plans for land use.
However, it has been common practice by many tribes to develop a casino after land has been acquired.
Currently California has 60 casinos owned by Native American tribes.
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