California: Virtual hearing scheduled for Koi Nation’s casino-resort project near Windsor


The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has announced a forthcoming virtual public hearing to solicit feedback on the recently published environmental study for the Koi Nation’s proposed casino-resort project in the Shiloh neighborhood, located just outside Windsor, California.

The virtual hearing is slated to commence at 6 p.m. on 27 September and will be hosted on the Zoom platform. The comprehensive 211-page environmental study, along with instructions for participating in the hearing, can be accessed via the website www.shilohresortenvironmental.com. For those who prefer a hard copy, the environmental assessment is also available for review at the Windsor Regional Library, situated at 9291 Old Redwood Highway.

This virtual gathering provides a critical opportunity for the public to express their viewpoints concerning the project. It also encompasses an examination of three distinct alternatives that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is currently considering for the 68-acre site adjacent to East Shiloh Road.

These alternatives span a spectrum of development sizes, ranging from slightly over 800,000 square feet for the casino and hotel complex, to a “reduced intensity” version covering approximately 550,000 square feet, and lastly, a “nongaming” alternative featuring 186,000 square feet designated for a hotel and winery.

The ultimate decision-making authority over the project rests with the Secretary of the Interior, who oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Furthermore, should it seek to run a casino, the Koi Nation would need to secure a gaming compact through the California Governor’s Office and the Legislature.

Koi Nation's proposed casino-resort project in the Shiloh region

The Koi Nation has obtained federal tribal status and acquired the 68-acre parcel in September 2021. Subsequently, in March 2022, they submitted an application to the U.S. Department of the Interior, seeking to have the land placed into trust to establish it as a sovereign tribal property. This application remains pending review.

However, several local tribes have expressed their opposition to the Koi Nation’s project. These include the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, proprietors of Graton Resort and Casino, the largest gaming facility in Sonoma County.

The Dry Creek Rancheria, operators of River Rock Casino near Geyserville, the Cloverdale Rancheria, and the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians have also submitted letters opposing the Koi project.

It is worth noting that despite the unanimous vote by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors against the project in April 2022, the county does not possess decision-making authority in this matter. The proposed casino resort has also faced vocal opposition from residents in the Shiloh area, primarily a rural community.