Pechanga Tribe to Purchase Liberty Quarry Land

The deal means the end of the proposed mining project south of Temecula, the two entities said in a news release.


Pechanga Tribal leaders have agreed to purchase the Liberty Quarry site south of Temecula from Granite Construction, it was announced Thursday.

A news conference has been called for 2:30 p.m. at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, effectively ending the project, according to a joint news release from the two entities.

Granite Construction has agreed to sell 354 acres of land designated for the quarry to the Pechanga Tribe for $3 million.

"The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and Granite Construction Co. have forged a historic accord that will amicably resolve a long-standing land use dispute involving the proposed Liberty Quarry project in Riverside County and end the proposed quarry," the two entities wrote.

Pechanga will also pay Granite $17.35 million to settle the dispute under a separate inter-dependent and comprehensive settlement and release agreement, according to the news release.

Granite has in turn agreed that it will not own or operate a quarry within a six mile radius to the north of the property along the Riverside-San Diego county border and three miles to the south through 2035.

For its part, Pechanga has committed to providing Granite input regarding potential impacts to tribal historic and cultural resources at other potential aggregate sites outside of the restricted area that Granite may consider over the same 23-year period, according to the news release.

“This area holds profound historic, cultural, and spiritual importance to the Pechanga and Luiseño Peoples,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. “Today, a small yet essential piece of our historic territory is once again united with its original stewards to preserve for future generations.”

Granite also reflected on the historic deal.

“Granite has a strong history of cooperation with stakeholders in communities where we work and is pleased to have been able to reach an equitable solution with the Pechanga Tribe regarding this project,” said James H. Roberts, Granite’s president and CEO. “We remain committed to Western Riverside and San Diego counties and look forward to continuing to grow our business in this area.”

This story is developing. Check back with Patch for coverage of the news conference.

James Q. November 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM
It was $20.35 Million, not $3 Million. Read the story again.
Nita German - Dancin DJ November 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM
I say they "FAST TRACK"..........THIS....!!!! I am sooooooooo Happy to see this.....THANK YOU Pechanga But let's not forget to THANK the City of Temecula for all their efforts also in fighting this "sure to be disaster" for our Wonderful town and Beautiful Valley.... Definitely many, many MORE job will be created as a result of this....now Granite and their quarry can.....................MOVE ON..........and we can too !
James Q. November 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM
That's a great idea Jeff, but maybe you should call them and speak with the person in charge of concerts, to arrange that. You know, in case they don't read this story.
James Q. November 16, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Everyone should send Pechanga a Thank You card immediately. Let them see how appreciative we really are!!
teachintemec November 16, 2012 at 12:30 AM
teachintemec November 16, 2012 at 12:31 AM
The fine print also says 17.35 million, so it is not just 3 million.
DeAnn November 16, 2012 at 12:38 AM
This is wonderful news. Thank you Pechanga for doing what the rest of us could not. I am sorry that Granite gets to walk away with your money (or anyone's for that matter), but thank you so much! Your community support is undeniable and we will be forever grateful.
Chris November 16, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I hope the city manager getting canned had nothing to do with this surprising turn of events.
Chris November 16, 2012 at 12:49 AM
NO QUARRY!!!!!!!!Thank you Pechanga. I am also so proud to be a resident of this beautiful city. We all stood up to the quarry and would have fought it years to the bitter end. No silica dust to worry about. No more letters. No more worries. This nightmare came too close to being a reality. WHOOO! WHOOOOOOO!
Temecula Jay November 16, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Well said, Peter! Thanks Pechanga. I think I'll go drop off a few bucks in their casino tonight!
TemeculaMom9 November 16, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Thank you to Granite and Pechanga for acting like civilized adults and coming to an agreement. This should have been done years ago rather than throwing money at the useless city attorney for filing ridiculous restraining orders and other nonsense motions. Hopefully we can all start to move on from this topic now.
Paul Jacobs November 16, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I was joking about secession, HF. Maryann "Stan Shunpike," the fact that Pechanga stepped in to save the day and our community does not change the Council's ties to Rancon. The quarry would have benefited Rancon's customers -- the building industry that rules the Inland Empire. The City sued Pechanga in the midst of the quarry battle and broke the trust with our good neighbor. I don't bow to you or your colleagues. After the horrible comments and lies you have posted about me, I owe nobody on the city council any apologies. I have nothing but gratitude for the Pechanga being the real fighter against the quarry.
sam bradstreet November 16, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Paul, get over your Rancon conspiracies. We all know that Stephenson owns the Murrieta and Temecula City Councils and has for years.......get over it. Both cities, Temecula especially has grown so much in the last 20 years and I like the direction its going. Put up with a little Rancon corruption to get a Council that gets things done.
Delvina Fiducia November 16, 2012 at 01:17 AM
My windshield and I thank you Pechanga for rescuing our valley from the Granite monster!
Linda Engle November 16, 2012 at 01:18 AM
I was wondering just this morning why Pechanga didn't buy them out . I'm psychic ! Thank you Pechanga ,for your kindness , to the people AND all of the plants & wildlife in the areas that were going to be blasted into oblivion .
Gary Stein November 16, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Stanley, So you are saying any person that disagrees with the Obama admin is traitor... So you are say a majority of Military members and vets are traitor... When dd you serve. All this election proved is that people will vote for free stuff before freedom.
Linda Engle November 16, 2012 at 02:33 AM
The scrub jay, the red tails, the owl , the lizards & snakes, squirrels & field mice, rabbit & coyote , the chapparal , the ceanothus , the scrub oaks , the river and the boulders . If we got close tonight we could hear them all singing.......
gordon November 16, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Stanley, i don't know who your are, but your response is inappropriate and unacceptable in this forum where we all contribute to a free and friendly discussion of events. as a vet, i take offense to your tone. In fact, i also take offense to the others who are gloating over their victory. i learned as a youngster how to accept defeat, as well as winning over others. perhaps, you should as well. i am glad this is behind us, even though i was pro quarry. it was a financial drain on Granite, and especially our community. i dont like to see my tax dollars being spent on unnecessary litigation. and thank you Pechanga for stepping forward and doing what you should have done in the beginning, putting a price on the land you find so sacred. i only hope that your price isnt being subsidized by us, the taxpayers.
Scott November 16, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Awsome! And to the scrubs who change the celebration to bagging on Paul..............go away. You never did anything for the cause and we dont benefit or desire your input or your arm chair quarterbacking now. Paul did what he could and that was to attempt to protect ALL of our quality of lives. He acted on what he had. What did you do? And by the way, just for your information, it is my educated assessment that he didnt get elected for lack of substance or potential, but rather from lack of marketing ($$).
Balance November 16, 2012 at 03:43 AM
...and in PERFECT harmony! YEA!!!
wolfcreek November 16, 2012 at 04:51 AM
That is really stepping up to the plate. That is truly giving back to the community. Thank you Pechanga!
Popeye November 16, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Now the city needs to sue Granite Construction for 20 million dollars for terrorizing Temecula citizens. Then donate it back to Pechanga. Then we need to investigate the illigal activities of some of the Riverside County Supervisor in trying to fast track a open pit mine. I am not forgetting those poopy heads...
KB November 16, 2012 at 09:02 AM
I Agree!!!!
Gandhi November 16, 2012 at 09:59 AM
I think they can actually afford to pay you Jeff, good luck getting through to the booking guy, we've been trying for years!!!
Gandhi November 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM
Took the words right out of my mouth Popeye! Write to the attorney generals office! I'd also like to know why OUR city councilmembers didnt do this years ago?? We had the money, was this just some kind of game? Then they spend hundreds of millions on a new city hall building two years ago, they easily could have bought the land that Pechanga just did, guess they were more concerned about leaving a monument to themselves than the health and welfare of the people they work for!
keepn it real November 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Great news to hear I didn't want to stay if the mines were moving in. :)) Pechanga has the money to do it they should have done it years ago. It kinda made our city look a little foolish....I think its about time to start voting for some new people..Out with the old in with the new
N1smo2go November 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM
@ James Q. I know what they were going to do,that area has alot of aggregate that can be used. That's what Granite wanted. I knw there was no theme park or anything else going to go there except the mine. My point was, that Granite walks away with over 20 million dollars and never had to put one shovel in the ground. Great way to do business and scare the heck out of the locals.
Long Time Temecula Resident November 18, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Paul, you are such a fudgmonkey.... you accused them of corruption dude... you panicked and lost your integrity. It's ok...the trick is recovery... you can only do it if you have integrity. On another note what will you gadfly about now? You still traveling around to various cites attending city council meetings with GG? You let Temecula down big time...you caused dissension in the ranks of quarry fighters just for a few votes. You lied by saying the city giving up the sphere allowed the quarry to move forward. You are a non truth teller Paul..no matter what you tell yourself before you bed down for the night know that that you were bought and sold for a few votes...the same thing you accused others of...sad
Gandhi November 20, 2012 at 09:07 AM
Um Stan, what are you ranting about now? Nobody's listening, nor are we interested in your continual attacks on people here, you are incapable of staying on the subject I've noticed in every single article, you try to lead everybody down the rabbit trail by picking on people, who have nothing to do with the article whatsoever. Paul is not attacking you, he is entitled to state his viewpoints and opinions here, and they actually have more validity than anything I have ever seen you write here. Keepn it real - thank you, a beacon of light in the darkness of rabbit holes! ;) Too bad people werent educated enough to vote them out this time though.
Gandhi November 20, 2012 at 09:08 AM
Actually its a total of $20,000,000, the $3,000,000 was the "down payment".


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