- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

LA CENTER, Wash. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the Interior Department’s decision to grant a reservation to the Cowlitz Tribe in southwestern Washington, rejecting efforts to block the construction of a $510 million casino and resort on the land.

The Columbian newspaper reports (https://goo.gl/TyKp8y ) that the ruling, handed down Friday by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, affirmed a 2014 ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle.

The Cowlitz rejected treaty offers from the government in the 19th century, which left them without a reservation. They were formally recognized in 2002, and the Interior Department subsequently agreed to take a parcel near La Center into trust for the tribe’s reservation.

Two groups challenged the decision to take the land into trust and to allow casino gaming: nearby homeowners and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, which operates a competing casino.

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Information from: The Columbian, https://www.columbian.com

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