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Chumash Tribe Hoping Congress Will Back Federal Trust Designation For Some Of Its Land

The Chumash Tribe is taking steps to try to insure that a controversial decision to designate 1400 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley as reservation land isn’t reversed.

In January, the Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the tribes request to add the designation to the property near the intersection of Highways 154, and 246. Now, a bill introduced by Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa from Northern California calls for confirming the agency’s decision.

The designation has been controversial because it removed the land from Santa Barbara County jurisdiction on planning issues, as well as from the county’s property tax rolls.

The tribe says it bought the land to develop housing for its members, but some neighbors worry it could lead to large scale development. Past efforts to get Congress to support the federal trust designation failed.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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