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Muckleshoot Tribe, Washington

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Completion of the tribe's 20,000-seat amphitheater will be delayed while federal officials study its effect on salmon and trout. The outdoor concert venue was expected to open next spring but no work has been done during the late summer and early fall construction seasons, tribal attorney Rob Otsey said, adding he does not know when the facility will open. Chinook salmon and bull trout in the White River and its tributaries are protected under the Endangered Species Act. About 40 percent complete, the $30 million amphitheater, on reservation land two miles east of Auburn, originally was planned to open in 1997. Opposition from neighbors stalled it, and then construction stopped in 1998 after a federal judge ordered an environmental impact statement. The draft statement completed in summer 1999 found the amphitheater would not cause any problems that could not be fixed by proper planning. June Boynton, coordinating the BIA approval process, said the final environmental document could be complete early next year. The tribe expects to obtain needed permits within a month after that. The amphitheater along State Route 164 is expected to offer 30 to 40 outdoor music concerts between May and October. Tribal events would also be held there.

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