Press Release from the Wilton Rancheria Tribe
U.S. COURT OF APPEALS HANDS DECISIVE VICTORY
TO WILTON RANCHERIA
The panel ruled against Stand Up For California, which has tried for years to stall or block the Tribe’s planned casino in Elk Grove.
ELK GROVE—APRIL 16—The United States Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit on Friday handed a decisive victory to Wilton Rancheria against the
special interest group Stand Up For California, which has tried for years to stall or block
the Tribe’s planned casino project in Elk Grove.
The judges ruled in favor of Wilton Rancheria and the U.S. Department of the Interior,
upholding an earlier federal court ruling that rejected Stand Up’s attempt to reverse the
Department’s decisions to recognize the Tribe and put its land into trust.
“Time after time courts have rejected these desperate and baseless attempts to stop our
project,” said Wilton Rancheria Tribal Chairman Jesus Tarango. “We had to fight for
federal recognition. We had to fight for our land. And now, thanks to the U.S Court of
Appeals, we’ve taken another major step toward our goal of self-sufficiency.”
The court of appeals found that the Department acted appropriately in placing Wilton
Rancheria’s land in federal trust and said Stand Up’s argument aimed at stripping Wilton
Rancheria of its right to assets as a federally recognized tribe was “specious.” The court
went on to rule that Stand Up’s contention that a new or supplemental Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) should have been prepared when the Elk Grove location was
selected “had no merit.”
Last month, Wilton Rancheria and its partner Boyd Gaming Corporation broke ground on
“Sky River Casino,” the Tribe’s long-planned project on approximately 36 acres in Elk
Grove. Scheduled to open in the second half of 2022, Sky River Casino is being
developed and managed by Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming on behalf of the Tribe. Sky
River Casino will be the closest casino to both Sacramento and the south Bay Area.
The Sky River project will enable the Tribe to improve housing, education, and
healthcare for its more than 800 members and ensure that the tribal culture, heritage and
language are protected and preserved.
The project will create thousands of jobs and major long-term benefits for Elk Grove and
the surrounding economy. Wilton Rancheria has agreed to invest $186 million over the
first 20 years with the City of Elk Grove and Sacramento County to support police,
schools, roads and other services.
About Wilton Rancheria
Wilton Rancheria’s tribal status was terminated in 1958, and finally restored in 2009,
after a long-fought campaign by tribal Elders. Wilton Rancheria is the only federally
recognized tribe in Sacramento County. In November 2011, the Tribe adopted its modern
Constitution, and since that time, tribal leadership has worked to improve the lives of its
members and positively serve the community from its offices in Elk Grove.