Snoqualmie Tribe Files Suit Seeking to Stop Development


May 31st, 2016


Media Contact:

Jerry Lamb



Snoqualmie Tribe files suit against City Seeking to Stop

Snoqualmie Falls Development

City’s decision on May 9th, 2016 will desecrate Sacred Ground

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. – The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe on Friday filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court accusing the City of Snoqualmie of violating state environmental and land use laws in conjunction with a proposed agreement that allows the construction of a new hotel, conference center, stores, 175 homes and a 492-space parking lot on ground that is sacred to the Snoqualmie people.

At issue is the May 9 vote by the Snoqualmie City Council to approve a development agreement with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe that paves the way for the approval for future permits and construction of the sprawling project. The Tribe alleges in the lawsuit that the decision is based on a flawed environmental review conducted over 13 years ago. 

“Land that was the heart of our ancestors’ universe, land that remains central to the lives of Snoqualmie people, today will be bulldozed and forever buried beneath concrete for the sake of 175 homes,” said Tribal Chairwoman Carolyn Lubenau. 

The Tribe’s lawsuit takes issue with how and when the City conducted its environmental review of the project. The complaint accuses the City of failing to consider potential impacts to cultural and historic resources. The 2003 determination never considered the project’s impacts on Snoqualmie Falls since it was listed on the National Register in 2009 as a Traditional Cultural Property. The scope of the project has also increased substantially since 2003, adding 65 new homes. But, the City has not updated its environmental review. 

“When an environmental review of a project is flawed, Washington State law requires that it be withdrawn and a new determination issued”, added Chairwoman Lubenau. “Impacts to Snoqualmie Falls and cultural resources in the area must be considered.” 

Click here for a full copy of the lawsuit.

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie Tribal members were signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott with the Washington territory in 1855. The Tribe owns and operates the Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, WA.