Senator Nozzolio Blasts Federal Environmental Impact Statement on Cayuga Land Claim

Michael F. Nozzolio

November 03, 2010

In response to the federal Environmental Impact Statement declaring there would be no significant impact on the region if the Cayuga Indian Nation put their land in Seneca and Cayuga Counties into trust, State Senator Mike Nozzolio blasted the federal government for their reckless disregard of thecitizens of the Finger Lakes region.

“Can’t the federal government do basic math? Anyone who can add or subtract will tell you that if land is taken off the tax rolls, local governments will lose revenue and the region’s property taxpayers will be forced to assume the consequences,” said Senator Nozzolio. “The equation is simple, but the federal government fails to recognize the intense problems for local taxpayers that would arise if land purchased by the Cayuga Indian Nation in Seneca and Cayuga Counties is granted trust status. The federal government’s announcement is completely irresponsible and detrimental to our region.”

The federal government’s announcement brings the Cayuga Nation one step closer to having their trust application for 129 acres of their land approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and opens the door for the Nation to attempt to place even more of their land into trust. Already over 1,000 acres in Seneca County have been acquired by the Cayuga Nation. If this land went into trust, it would be devastating to the homeowners, residents and job-producing businesses of Seneca and Cayuga counties.

Over the past several years, Seneca and Cayuga Counties have already seen the negative impact resulting from the sale of hundreds of acres of land to individuals who later disclosed that they were actually agents of the Cayuga Indian Nation.  The Cayugas opened gas stations, convenience stores and other local businesses that drained local sales tax revenues sorely needed in this struggling economy.

“As a resident of Seneca County with my home in the Indian land claim area, I am appalled that the federal government continues to uphold the demands of the Cayuga Indian Nation over the rights of residents in our region,” said Senator Nozzolio. “It is not possible for Washington bureaucrats living hundreds of miles away to make fair and appropriate decisions which affect the lives of our local citizens.”

Senator Nozzolio has also initiated an online petition calling upon United States Congressman Mike Arcuri, United States Senator Charles Schumer and United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to demand that the federal government deny the Cayuga Indians’ request to create an Indian reservation in Cayuga and Seneca County. Hundreds of local residents have already signed the petition, which is accessible at

“The stakes have never been higher. The more land in our community the Cayuga Nation grabs, the more devastating the impact will be on generations to come if they are granted trust status. We must continue to keep the pressure on our federal representatives in Washington to do their part and stop the BIA from granting a reservation to the Cayuga Indians,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.