Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group | P.O. Box 41, Dent MN 56528 | 218-251-1975

Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group (SLCCG)

Aug 31, 2018:  White Earth Reservation Business Committee rescinds Star Lake Resolution (see News Release).  This means that the casino project has ended.

Background:

In the fall of 2015, Shooting Star Casino/White Earth Nation announced plans to build a third casino on Star Lake near Dent, MN. By law, the gaming portion could only be on a parcel of land currently held in Trust by the Federal Government for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (Trust Land). On the image below, the red area reflects the trust land (approx 14.7 acres); light green indicates wetlands; pink is wild rice beds. The developer purchased additional land (Fee Land) for the supporting infrastructure. Start of construction was initially projected for Fall 2016, however construction has not yet started and the projected opening has since been pushed back.

homepage02SLCCG consists of property owners and others who share a concern for the future of Star Lake and the surrounding area as the result of this potential development. The SLCCG is endorsed by the Star Lake Property Owners' Association (SLPOA) Board and many of its members.

SLCCG and our supporters are working diligently to ensure Star Lake and its related watershed are protected now and for future generations. We believe that this parcel of land, which is mostly valuable wetlands on Star Lake, originally purchased for a wild rice camp, is absolutely inappropriate for the proposed commercial development. Our goal is to see this proposed development on the sensitive South Arm wetlands be denied.

County and State officials have control over what happens on the Fee Land as they have jurisdiction over the following permit applications: Wetland Mitigation/Replacement Plan, State Wetland Permit, Conditional Use Permit, Utility Permit for Waste Water Treatment System, Approach Permit – Road Entrance, and Environmental Assessment Worksheet.

Federal authorities, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have control over what happens on the Trust Land as they have jurisdiction over the Section 404 and 401 Clean Water Act permits.

IT'S NOT A DONE DEAL: It is important that County, State and Federal authorities hear from you during public comment periods, as your comments are considered when they make decisions on the various permits submited for this development. There will be several public comment periods during this entire process. Sign up for our email list and check our website regularly for information about current and upcoming comment periods.

Fundraising

The Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group (SLCCG) recently incorporated as a non-profit organization and is asking the public for donations. Money is needed to pay for expert environmental and engineering analysis of the proposed casino project, legal representation and to increase public awareness.

Please support our effort to protect Star Lake and the greater Star, Dora and Dead Lake Townships! All our funding comes from individual donations. Your support is crucial to holding the authorities to the highest standards of environmental review.

Contributions to the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group are not tax-deductible. The SLCCG is organized as a nonprofit corporation under Minnesota law and operates as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Permit Status

FEDERAL PERMIT STATUS

June 1, 2018 Update:  No change since January 28, 2018 Update: The 30 Day Public Comment period closed on Nov 28, 2016. Per the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Public Notice: "The applicant proposes to discharge fill material into 8.41 acres of wetlands adjacent to Star Lake for the purpose of constructing a commercial development that would include a gaming facility and attendant features."

The USACE requested additional information from the proposer again in November 2017. As of Jan 19, 2018, there has been no response from the developer.

For more info about the Federal USACE status, see copies of correspondence received from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.

STATE/COUNTY PERMIT STATUS

June 1, 2018 Update:  No change since January 28, 2018 Update:  On Aug 22, 2017 OTC Board of Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of a “positive EIS Declaration decision”. This means a more stringent review of the project is required. On Sept 5 OTC estimated the EIS scoping costs to be $29,595. This must be paid by the developer before the scoping process can proceed (to date, scoping costs have not been paid).

Refer to EQB / EIS Quick Reference Guide to understand EIS process. Also see our Take Action page and the OTC website for more information at the county level.

The Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and WCA Wetland Replacement Application, previously applied for, have been tabled pending the results of the environmental review.

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IT'S NOT A DONE DEAL!!!

WATCH OUR WEBSITE FOR FURTHER UPDATES. TIMING IS CRITICAL FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS!!!

Call SLCCG with any questions 218-251-1975