The Sycuan Reservation nearly tripled its size after completing a $25 million land transfer agreement on August 15, 2013.
The Sycuan Reservation nearly tripled its size Thursday after tribal leaders signed what may be the biggest land transfer agreement of its kind in history.
The deal, which took seven years to complete and cost the Sycuan tribe $25 million, will transfer 1,400 acres back to the reservation, according to Chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay, Daniel Tucker.
“It did cost us a lot of money, I’m not going to beat around the bush on that,” said Tucker, “but the point is it didn’t matter what it cost us, we wanted to get it back.”
About 85 percent of the land will be persevered in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and State Fish and Game, according to a media release. Some of the remaining land will go toward economic development including housing, an RV park and an equestrian center.
The tribe also sold another 600 acres of land to the Kumeyaay-Diegueño Land Conservancy for permanent cultural and open space protection.
Tucker said the Sycuan tribe will continue their efforts to buy land in the hopes of providing housing for tribal members.
“We’re getting it back in small little squirts,” said Tucker, “but we’re getting it back.”