In the southernmost portion of the Reservation, the Tribe holds 640 acres. On this property, Union Pacific Railroad owns track that runs through the southwestern portion. Since 1996, the Tribe has been strategizing ways to work with Union Pacific on a project to diversify the Tribe’s economic portfolio.
In 2015, the Tribe dedicated the team to fully pursue an opportunity with the rail siding on their land. During a trip to the Port of Los Angeles and conversations with the Port Director, the vision was clear. The Ports need a complement. The Port Complex (Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach) are bursting at the seams. The Port of Los Angeles is the nation’s largest port. On average, they import and export 9.5 million twenty-foot equivalents (TEUs) a year and are expanding. The ports need relief, a place with land and opportunity.
The team took both of these opportunities and married them. The team has been working on an inland-port concept since. We have met our 30% engineering plans and continue to move forward on the vision of bringing economic development, not only to the Reservation, but to the Eastern Coachella Valley as a whole.
Building a world where we meet our own needs without denying the future generations a healthy society is not impossible, as some would assert. The question is where societies choose to put their creative efforts.