As your New York State Senator representing Cayuga and Seneca Counties, I have been steadfast in my strong opposition to any and all efforts by the Cayuga Indians to apply for trust status on land they have purchased in these counties. I have repeatedly called upon our Federal representatives to do everything in their power to protect local property taxpayers and urge the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to reject the Cayugas’ application to create an Indian reservation.
NOW, I AM ELATED TO INFORM YOU THAT THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS HAS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED IT HAS DISMISSED THE CAYUGAS’ LAND TRUST APPLICATION!
This decision by the Federal government is a tremendous victory for the taxpayers in Cayuga and Seneca Counties, who have watched the Cayuga Indians’ increasing land purchases for years with great concern and anxiety. I am pleased that the Federal government has upheld the rights of local homeowners, small businesses and municipalities who would be financially devastated if this land were taken off the tax rolls. I also thank U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Congressman Richard Hanna and U.S. Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle, who joined our fight to call on the BIA to block this application, as well as State Assemblymen Brian Kolb, Bob Oaks and Gary Finch for their efforts to protect our local property owners.
While I am pleased w this victory, we must continue to be very vigilant in our opposition to land in trust applications. You can be assured that I will continue to do everything in my power as a State Senator to fight any future attempts by Indian tribes to take land in our region off the tax rolls.