On Thursday, the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Tribal Council announced that it has filed a lawsuit against California Governor Edmund G. Brown. The suit challenges the legality of the Governor’s affirmation of a Department of the Interior decision in 2012 that led to the North Fork Compact.
In 2014, 61 percent of California voters (Proposition 48) rejected that compact, which would have allowed Las Vegas-style gaming at a 305-acre site near Madera almost 50 miles away from the North Fork Reservation.
Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Tribal Chairwoman Claudia Gonzales said that the new North Fork scheme ignores the wishes of California voters and that decades of tribal gaming regulations would be undone opening the floodgates for off-reservation casinos to be built anywhere in the state. Gonzales commented further saying, “Our Tribal Council is willing to stand up and defend Tribes like ours who have followed the rules and to tell the Governor and other politicians to listen to the overwhelming voice of Californians and stop the North Fork plan once and for all,” according to PR Newswire.
The March 18 lawsuit filed in Madera County Superior Court, (Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians v. Edmund G, Brown, Governor of California), challenges the validity of Governor Brown‘s affirmation of then-Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Ken Salazar’s determination to allow a 305 acre plot of land in Madera County to be placed into trust for the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians to be used for casino gaming.