CANANDAIGUA, NY – Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) today sent letters to U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urging them to join him in opposing the Cayuga Indian Nation’s attempt to place 129 acres of land into a tax-exempt federal trust. Kolb has continually called on Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to take action by publicly opposing the Cayuga Indian Nation’s request and urging the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Interior to deny the application. The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that represents one of the final remaining steps in the application process for the Cayuga Indian Nation’s request.
In his correspondence sent to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand earlier this afternoon, Kolb said the following: “I, along with countless local elected officials and proud residents of Cayuga and Seneca counties, believe that placing such a large amount of acreage into a tax-exempt trust would impose a significant and unacceptable economic burden on our local governments and taxpayers. I also have serious concerns about the potential unchecked development that could occur on the affected lands that would subsequently be exempted from state environmental and health regulations if placed into trust. I offered written testimony outlining these specific concerns that was submitted into the official public record back in June 2009.”
Kolb’s letter continued: “Accordingly, I am again asking that you intervene in this controversy by joining me in opposing the Cayuga Indian Nation’s application. Since the public comment period is scheduled to close on Monday, November 22, I am specifically requesting that you both voice your strong opposition to the nation’s land claim with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and urge the Department of Interior’s denial of this application.”
Kolb also urged Cayuga and Seneca County residents who oppose the land trust to publicly comment on the FEIS for the Cayuga Indian Nation’s application.
Individuals wishing to take part in the public comment period must do so by the end of Monday, November 22, 2010.
Public comments should be mailed or faxed to the following contact and address:
Bureau of Indian Affairs
545 Marriott Drive, Suite 700
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
Fax: (615) 564-6701
Individuals without access to a facsimile machine can e-mail or drop-off their public comments to Leader Kolb. Kolb’s Assembly e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his district office is located at 607 West Washington Street, Suite 2, Geneva, NY 14456. Kolb’s staff will fax all comments received by Monday afternoon to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“For the past several years, I have been speaking out and making a case against the Cayuga Indian Nation’s efforts to place 129 acres of local land into a tax-exempt federal trust because doing so would have serious negative consequences for Cayuga and Seneca counties, and all area taxpayers,” Kolb said.
“What we need is for Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to stand up and speak out against the Cayuga Indian Nation’s application and, in so doing, urge the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Department of Interior to reject the request once and for all. Now is not the time for silence. It is time to make all our voices heard loud and clear so the federal government finally gets the message that this land claim would do irreparable financial harm to our Cayuga and Seneca County communities and must be denied,” Kolb concluded.
To view the letter to Senator Schumer, click here.
To view the letter to Senator Gillibrand, click here.