Star Report

Save the Valley, LLC recently dismissed their complaint against the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians on August 10. The complaint was withdrawn by Save the Valley’s attorney, Mathew Clarke and filed in Superior Court.

“Save The Valley withdrew its lawsuit ‘without prejudice’, meaning it reserves the right to return to the issue in court at a later time. Save The Valley also submitted a courtesy copy of the Law Suit, in the form of an amicus brief, to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs in support of all the Camp 4 fee-to-trust appellants. The Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs has notified Save The Valley that he has taken our submission ‘under consideration’,”, replied Steve Pappas, of Save the Valley.

“The suits were baseless when they were filed and remain baseless today,” said Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman in a statement.

Save the Valley then sued the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District and Irrigation District No. 1, as the tribe claims they believe it was an effort to deny the Reservation drinking water.

“The Save The Valley Lawsuit did not have any element in it that would deny the Reservation drinking water; we suggest that the tribal leadership do its homework before making any further false representations,” Pappas responded.


Save the Valley and its attorney Mathew Clarke again sued the United States on March 31, 2016, about the Tribe’s Camp 4 Fee-to-Trust application. After the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians threatened Rule 11 sanctions for a baseless complaint on June 1, 2016, Save the Valley voluntarily dismissed its complaint less than three months after filing it.

“We are not appealing the ability of the United States to remove cases against it to the United States Federal Court; rather it is appealing specifically Save The Valley’s Case from being removed from Santa Barbara County Superior Court where it was originally filed and belongs,” Pappas said.


The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates the Chumash Casino Resort, which is located on the tribe’s reservation on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, California. The tribe also owns Hotel Corque, Root 246 and the Hadsten House in Solvang and two gas stations in Santa Ynez.