SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Coquille Tribe's proposed Medford casino denied by feds

(Photo courtesy of The Cedars at Bear Creek / Facebook)

A long-running debate over the proposed casino on S Pacific Highway appears to have come to an end with the decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Posted: May 29, 2020 2:56 PM
Updated: May 29, 2020 3:07 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Coquille Tribe of Oregon's southern coast expressed shock and anger on Thursday night after a decision by officials with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to deny their proposal to build a casino in Medford.

The casino project, dubbed The Cedars at Bear Creek, would have been located along S Pacific Highway in south Medford at the former site of Kim's Restaurant. Debate over the proposal has gone on for years.


(Photo courtesy of The Cedars at Bear Creek / Facebook)

Coquille Tribal Chairman Brenda Meade called the ruling a “complete disregard for the federally mandated decision process,” criticising the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its "abrupt" decision to no longer consider the tribe's application to take that land into trust.

“Instead of a fair and open process, this agency has turned to the hidden, back-room dealing that is the hallmark of an overly political process – a process that federal law repeatedly has tried to prevent,” Meade said.

According to the Coquille Tribe, they received the decision in a May 27 letter from Indian Affairs principal deputy assistant secretary John Tahsuda. According to Meade, the decision "ignored the government's own established procedures" to ensure that gaming decisions are based on fact instead of politics.

“By ending the normal, fact-based process for making trust land decisions, Tahsuda has silenced the many people in the community who are supporting our efforts,” Meade said. “He also is denying our local officials the opportunity to express their growing appreciation for the tribe’s work in the community and their interest in pursuing economic development on this property. They all were promised that their voices would be heard every step of the way.”

The Coquille Tribe has tried to gain an environmental assessment of the proposal since 2012, but federal officials have declined to move forward.

The Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe, which operates Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville, has long opposed the Coquille Tribe project.

“The Interior Department was correct to stop this project. This was never a dispute we wanted to have with a sister Tribe," said Dan Courtney, Cow Creek Tribal Board chairman. "We want all Oregon Tribes to be able to provide economic opportunities and governmental services for their members and communities. But we also have long opposed any effort to circumvent federal or state gaming laws. With this behind us we are now focused on identifying opportunities that advance all Oregon Tribes and communities together as one.”

The Cedars at Bear Creek was supposed to be a Class II casino on 2.42 acres of land in south Medford. A Class II casino allows video gaming devices, but no table games such as blackjack or dice. According to the Coquille Tribe, the proposed site is surrounded by several tribal parcels that it still hopes to develop for other commercial uses.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154554

Reported Deaths: 2204
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31785528
Washington21060212
Marion18335285
Clackamas13310175
Lane10172126
Jackson8299111
Umatilla763181
Deschutes591859
Yamhill375964
Linn356556
Malheur334358
Polk302942
Klamath277455
Douglas242853
Benton231816
Josephine231649
Jefferson195028
Coos142519
Union127519
Columbia124321
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106329
Morrow104414
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6487
Curry4166
Tillamook4122
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3554629

Reported Deaths: 51395
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118754221106
Riverside2891853749
San Bernardino2853342673
Orange2603483889
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1098411765
Kern102627811
Fresno947941412
Sacramento929441464
Alameda800881224
Ventura77238834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55775944
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38763515
San Francisco34061398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano29968164
Merced28915395
Sonoma27954298
Imperial26843589
Kings21951218
Placer19713231
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15390209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12760185
Shasta10944174
Butte10915160
El Dorado9095100
Napa897668
Sutter884597
San Benito574359
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada393274
Mendocino379643
Amador344441
Humboldt316033
Lake313440
Glenn221023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3947
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 36°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Klamath Falls
Mostly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 21°
Drying out, winds diminish this weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events