The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the potential environmental consequences of the Coquille Indian Tribe’s (Tribe) application for a proposed 2.4-acre fee-to-trust transfer and gaming facility project to be located in the City of Medford, Jackson County, Oregon, adjacent to Oregon State Highway 99. The proposed action would transfer approximately 2.4 acres of land from fee to trust status, upon which the Tribe would renovate an existing bowling alley (currently operating as Roxy Ann Lanes) to convert it into a gaming facility. Adjacent fee land would be used for parking. For the purpose of the EIS, the BIA will serve as the Lead Agency for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The BIA issued the Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Proposed Action in the Federal Register on January 15, 2015. The NOI described the Proposed Action and announced the initiation of the formal scoping process and a 30-day public scoping comment period. On February 19, 2015, a notice was issued extending the comment period for an additional 30 days to March 19, 2015. A scoping report was published by the BIA in June 2015. On September 3, 2020, the BIA published a Notice of Cancellation of the EIS for the Proposed Action in the Federal Register. The Notice of Cancellation was subsequently withdrawn with publication of a notice entitled “Resumption of Preparation of an EIS for the Proposed Coquille Indian Tribe Fee-to-Trust and Gaming Facility Project, Medford, Oregon” in the Federal Register on December 21, 2021.
A Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS (dated July 2022) was published in the Federal Register on November 25, 2022, that initiated a 45-day public review period. Subsequently, the BIA issued a notice extending the comment period for an additional 45 days. This comment period closed on Thursday, February 23, 2023, and the BIA is no longer accepting comments on the Draft EIS.
Virtual public hearings for the Draft EIS were held on December 15, 2022, and January 31, 2023. Participants had the opportunity to submit verbal comments during the virtual hearings, and live closed captioning was offered during each virtual hearing. Follow the links below to view the video recordings and transcripts for the virtual hearings:
- December 15, 2022, Public Hearing
- January 31, 2023, Public Hearing
The BIA is now reviewing the comments received on the Draft EIS and preparing the Final EIS.
Questions regarding this process, EIS, and more can be directed to Mr. Tobiah Mogavero, Bureau of Indian Affairs, at [email protected].