On October 15, the Joshua Tree Community Association sponsored a public meeting about a proposal by the Twenty-nine Palms Band of the Mission Indians to build and operate a casino in the Village of Joshua Tree. At this meeting, a presenter made a comment that the National Park Service (NPS) supports the project. This statement is incorrect. As with any land use proposal for an activity on private lands outside the park, the National Park Service cannot, and does not, support or oppose the casino proposal. The park is officially neutral. Joshua Tree National Park will be in contact with tribal representatives to clarify the position of the National Park Service on this project.
The NPS has no jurisdictional authority concerning private land-use proposals outside the boundary of the park. The concept of a casino in Joshua Tree and its potential authorization is a matter between the tribe, the citizens of the community of Joshua Tree, and the agencies having jurisdictional authority over the project. To date, the NPS has not analyzed the potential impacts that a casino in Joshua Tree would have on the park. As more information becomes available, the NPS will determine the appropriate level of analysis to pursue.
As a neutral party to these discussions, the NPS supports all involved in their efforts to seek a mutually agreeable and acceptable solution.