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The March hearings

Cascade Locks report

Cascade Locks report

On seeing the schedule for hearings on the proposed new casino at Cascade Locks, the first sensible question is: Will they matter? After all, the decider on this thing – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne – seems pretty well positioned against allowing tribal casinos off reservation land (though some recent article indicate some jar in the door).

Worth considering, though, for at least two reasons.

One is the just-released draft environmental impact statement, prepared for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which seemed to take a mostly positive view of the casino plan. That logically should have some effect on decision-making higher up. (Snark on this already anticipated and borne in mind.)

The other is a simple reality: A year from now the strong odds are there will be a new Interior secretary. What he or she might do about the casino proposal isn’t, of course, known. Might be a reasonable question (in the context of Indian gaming more generally) for the presidential candidates.

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