Army Corps of Engineers Gregory Canyon Permit Meeting

The Army Corps of Engineers had a public scoping meeting to provide the public ONE opportunity to provide comments on the notice of intent to prepare an EIS for the proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill. The Gregory Canyon landfill project is an environmental, cultural, and political affront to the Luiseño and Cupeño people of Pala and neighboring reservations. For over twenty years, the Pala Band of Mission Indians has been fighting to prevent the Gregory Canyon Landfill. The land was zoned as a landfill by ballot initiative in 1994. This landfill would completely desecrate and destroy Gregory Mountain, one of the most important sacred sites of the Luiseño people. Known as Chokla, this spiritual site is one of the resting places of the spirit Takwic. Chokla is venerated by all Luiseño people today, not just those of the Pala band. Allowing the Gregory Canyon Landfill to be built on the flanks of Chokla would be akin to building a trash dump around the walls of a cathedral. The project is also located on the banks of the San Luis Rey River which is used for drinking water by thousands of San Diego County residents. Over 300 people attended the hearing including many tribal members from Pala and other Luiseño Tribes. Many carried picket signs and wore t-shirts that said “Save Gregory Canyon” and “Stop the Dump”. Official representatives that spoke on behalf of Pala included Chairman Smith, Vice Chairman Miranda, and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Shasta Gaughen. Public testimony went on for several hours and no one spoke in favor of the dump. Organizations that have partnered with Pala to oppose the dump include the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Riverwatch, Environmental Health Coalition, Sierra Club, the Pala/Pauma planning group, and Surfrider. The Army Corps of Engineers must now take the public testimony and written comments received on this project into consideration before publishing a draft EIS in mid 2011. This is the only permit for the project that can be denied although only about 3% of Army Corps permits are denied. The Tribe will continue its steadfast opposition to this project! For more information, please visit the Tribes Gregory Canyon website at:

Pala Band of Mission Indians

More information...