Return of the wetlands
- $40 million project to restore 1,600 acres hailed as boon to sagging economy
For more than 80 years, a 1,600-acre triangle of land at the northwest corner of Clear Lake has been enclosed by dirt levees to keep the lake at bay and allow farmers to cultivate fertile bottom land and build houses.
Now, county, state and federal authorities want to breach 14.4 miles of substandard levees and return the land, already home to a multitude of wildlife, including egrets, heron, osprey and eagles, to its natural state.
The Robinson Rancheria Tribe of Pomo Indians is willing to let officials submerge the 38 acres it owns across Highway 20 from its Nice casino. But it wants the land's trust status transferred to another of its land holdings located about a mile from the casino along the lakeshore.
The tribe has no plans for another casino, but it doesn't want to lose out on future options, said the tribe's casino manager, Scott Sirois.
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