By Kelley Atherton

Triplicate staff writer

For seven years the Elk Valley Rancheria has experienced ups and downs planning a resort on Martin Ranch, but those plans now appear to be coming to fruition.

Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Carl Artman has signed a decision approving the 203.5-acre land transfer to a trust on Jan. 4.

andquot;The purpose of the change in status was to build new a new casino and resort on that property,andquot; said Bradley Downes, general counsel for the tribe.

A final environmental impact statement for the land transfer was released to the public in October 2006 and then sent to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs for review.

andquot;This concludes the final environmental process,andquot; Downes said.

Plans for the nine and a half acre resort include a 40,000-square-foot casino with 349-425 slot machines; a three-story, 156-room hotel; restaurants including a buffet, steakhouse and cafe; and a conference center, on Humboldt Road and U.S. Hwy 101.

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