We Are Windsor – John Stayton Letter

July 1, 2015

The Honorable Don Young
House of Representatives
Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs
1337 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

RE: Testimony for the Record Legislative Hearing on H.R. 2538 June 17, 2015

Dear Chairman Young, Ranking Member Ruiz, and Members of the Subcommittee:

Please slow down the process of addressing H.R. 2538, moving land recently purchased by the Lytton Rancheria into federal trust. My wife and I have owned an organic farm in the neighborhood since 1997. We had heard that the Rancheria had bought land and had development plans on Windsor River Road, since this was in the newspaper. We just found out last week from some neighbors about the development plans for Starr Road, and that there are now only three 5-acre parcels between our farm and land purchased by the Rancheria. How is this possible? Shouldn’t we have been informed of these development plans? This is going to profoundly affect the rural agricultural character of our neighborhood.

We are particularly concerned about our water. We were already concerned because of the drought. How much groundwater is the going to be drawn for 300 acres of new vineyards and other development plans? Why shouldn’t the owners of this property go through the environmental review process that everyone needs to go through? We are supporters of our environmental laws – they serve an important function. There is no reason to put this land in a federal trust that would bypass the regulatory and political processes that everyone needs to follow.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Stayton
6364 Starr Road
Windsor, CA 95492