Welcome to Morongo

Set at the foot of the beautiful San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains, the Morongo Indian Reservation spans more than 35,000 acres and overlooks the vistas of the Banning Pass. Resilient and resourceful, the Morongo tribe has had to overcome many adversities.

Latest News

Weekly Update – I-10 Tune Up Pavement Rehab

Work continues for the I-10 Tune Up, Pavement Rehabilitation project. Please note, this schedule is subject to change. For the latest, visit the I-10 Tune Up page at https://i10tuneup.com/.

RIVERSIDE, CA – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is continuing construction on Interstate 10 (I-10) from Beaumont to State Route 111 (SR-111). The following information is for the week of September 12 to 17, weather dependent:

During daytime work hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, construction crews will continue electrical work and perform roadway excavation, joint seal improvements and shoulder pavement operations going both directions from 8th St in Banning to SR-111.

Alternating lane and ramp closures will occur during nighttime work hours, from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., Sunday through Thursday:Demolition, paving, joint seal operations and grinding going both directions for entire project length.Install k-rail and construction signs from Beaumont Ave to Hargrave going eastbound.Remove existing k-rail going westbound from 8th St to Main St.
Crews have been moving into the next crossover in Segment 1, which will occur going eastbound from east of Beaumont Ave in Beaumont to Hargrave in Banning. The current crossover (from 8th St to Main St) is being removed, and lanes will open as normal, with some width restrictions. This new crossover is anticipated to be in place by mid-September. Motorists should anticipate a new traffic shift in the area to accommodate the crossover.

Due to the fuel spill incident that occurred on Wednesday, September 1, the eastbound Hargrave onramp will be closed until further notice. The eastbound 8th St and Ramsey St onramps may also be closed on an as needed basis.

The following are anticipated 10-day ramp closures. During these 10-day closures, the ramps will be improved. Closures will begin during nighttime work hours and reopen at the end of the night shift:WB Morongo Trail offramp is anticipated to close September 7 and reopen September 18. Commuters should use Main St or Malki as a detour WB Ramsey offramp is anticipated to close September 13 and reopen September 24. Commuters should use 8th St as a detour. WB Malki offramp is anticipated to close September 19 and reopen September 30. Commuters shoulder use Morongo Trail or Main St as a detour. WB Morongo Trail onramp is anticipated to close September 19 and reopen September 30. Commuters should use Main St or Malki as a detour. WB Fields Rd offramp is anticipated to close September 19 and reopen September 30.
This schedule is subject to change and is weather dependent. Know before you go! To stay on top of roadwork in the Inland Empire go to Caltrans District 8 and sign up for commuter alerts. Follow us for the latest information on Facebook and Twitter. To assist in planning your commute, view live traffic conditions using QuickMap and planned lane closures.

For those with sensory disabilities requiring alternate formats (i.e. Braille, large print, sign language interpreter, etc.) and those needing information in a language other than English, please contact Public Affairs at 909-383-4631 or TTY 711.

Morongo Awards $20,000 in Scholarships to Two Native American Students

The Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship has awarded more than $525,000 to Native American students, the most underrepresented group in higher education.

MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION – Two Native American students from California have each received a $10,000 scholarship from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs as part of the 16th Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship Program.

Since its launch, Morongo’s program has awarded more than $525,000 to 53 Native American students attending universities across the nation. The scholarship program is open to enrolled members of any of the more than 100 federally-recognized tribes in California.

“Morongo is proud to offer the Rodney T. Matthews Jr. Scholarship to help reverse the trends that have left Native Americans as the most underrepresented group in colleges and universities,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin said. “We look forward to this annual opportunity to support outstanding Native American students as they pursue a higher education to improve themselves and the future of their tribal communities.”

The 2021 recipients are:

  • Britney Vargas of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel is pursuing a B.A. in Elementary Education at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.  The recent graduate of Julian High School in San Diego County served as Native American Club Secretary, was a three-sport athlete and class secretary. Ms. Vargas also holds the title of Miss Julian 2020-2021 and was the previous Teen Miss Julian. She has logged over 650 in volunteer community hours during high school. Her goal is to develop a curriculum that teaches Native American culture to elementary school students in hopes of preserving Native American heritage for future generations.

“I think it’s absolutely amazing that the Morongo Band of Mission Indians does this for kids like me and other kids who struggle financially,” Vargas said. “I am just so grateful that I even had the opportunity to apply for the scholarship. This will help me pay for my books, meal plan and a dorm room, and allow me to focus on my studies.”

  • Sasheen Shailee Colegrove Raymond of the Hoopa Valley and Yurok Tribes is working towards her PhD. in Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University. She currently works at Humboldt State University’s Social Work Department where she assists rural and indigenous communities. She also helps Native American students navigate the educational system and cultivates relationships with local tribal agencies to increase internship placements. Through her studies, she plans to continue to conduct research and data collection to assist Tribal communities and inform policy decisions.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and that Morongo continues to support the Native community and Indian country because ultimately I feel it’s an important piece for all of us to be able to contribute back to our communities,” Raymond said. “This scholarship lifts such a huge burden off my shoulders, and I am truly thankful from the bottom of my heart.”

American Indians and Alaskan Natives comprise less than 1% of the nation’s college students, the lowest college enrollment rate of any ethnic group, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Similarly, only 15% of American Indians hold bachelor’s degrees, fewer than any ethnic group in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The scholarship program honors the late Rodney T. Mathews Jr., a Morongo tribal member and Hastings Law School graduate who passed away in 2004 after serving as a judge pro tem for more than a decade.

Scholarship applicants are considered based on their academic success and community service.  Candidates must be full-time students at an accredited college or university; complete 60 hours with a designated California Indian agency; and be actively involved in the Native American community.

Morongo Travel Center Tribal Minor NSR Permit Application # 2021-001-MNSR

Announcement of Draft Permit and Request for Public Comment on Draft Clean Air Act Minor NSR Permit in Indian Country

Notice in Spanish

Notice in English

Proposed Action: The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9 (EPA) provides notice of and requests public comment on the EPA’s proposed action relating to the draft minor New Source Review (NSR) permit for the Morongo Travel Center (“Source”). The Source will be located at 48540 Morongo Trail, Cabazon, California 92230, within the Morongo Indian Reservation. The EPA is proposing to issue this minor NSR permit to the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, 12700 Pumarra Road, Banning, California, 92220. The contact for the Source is Dana Morey, Environmental Manager, (951) 755-5198.

This draft permit, if finalized, will authorize the construction and operation of a gasoline dispensing facility (GDF), consistent with the minor NSR regulations for Indian country (40 CFR 49.151-161). The gasoline dispensing facility will dispense both diesel and octane gasoline. It will include 22 fuel dispensers, six underground storage tanks, and a convenience store. This project will increase emissions of air pollutants as follows: 12.27 tons per year (tpy) of volatile organic compounds (VOC). More information on the emission limitations associated with this draft permit can be found in Section 5 of the technical support document for this action.

Request for Public Comment: All written comments or requests for a public hearing must be received or postmarked by September 7, 2021. Comments may be submitted via the following methods:

Online:  www.regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-R09-OAR-2021-0043

E-mail:  [email protected]

Other:   By contacting Catherine Valladolid for other submission methods. See the Contact Information section below.

Any person may submit written comments on the draft permit and may request a public hearing during the public comment period. These comments must raise any reasonably ascertainable issue with supporting arguments by the close of the public comment period (including any public hearing). Please address comments with the subject “Comments on Draft Minor NSR Permit for Morongo Travel Center.”

 All comments that are received via email or through www.regulations.gov will be included in the public docket without change and will be available to the public, including any personal information provided. Comments submitted to the EPA through a non-electronic delivery method will also be included in the public docket without change and will be available to the public, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Information that is considered to be CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should be submitted only through a non-electronic delivery method; such information should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. If a commenter sends e-mail directly to the EPA, the e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. Please note that an e-mail or postal address must be provided with comments if the commenter wishes to receive direct notification of the EPA’s final decision regarding the draft permit following the public comment period. For information about CBI or multimedia submissions and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

Public Hearing: A public hearing has not been scheduled for the draft permit action. However, anyone may request a public hearing. Any request for a public hearing must be made in writing and state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised at the hearing. The EPA will hold a hearing whenever there is, on the basis of requests, a significant degree of public interest in a draft minor NSR permit. The EPA may also hold a public hearing at its discretion, whenever, for instance, such a hearing might clarify one or more issues involved in the minor NSR permit decision. The EPA will provide notice at least 30 days in advance of the date and time of any scheduled public hearing. The 30-day public comment period will be extended to the close of any public hearing on the Morongo Travel Center.

Final Action: Before taking final action on the draft permit, the EPA will consider all written comments submitted during the public comment period. The EPA will send notice of our final permit decision to each person who submitted comments and contact information during the public comment period or requested notice of the final permit decision. The EPA will summarize the contents of all substantive comments and provide written responses in a document accompanying the EPA’s final permit decision. The EPA’s final permit decision will become effective 30 days after the service of notice of the decision unless:

1.    A later effective date is specified in the permit;

2.    The decision is appealed to the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board pursuant to 40 CFR 49.159(d); or

3.    There are no comments requesting a change to the draft permit decision, in which case the final decision shall become effective immediately upon issuance.

Appeals to the EAB: In accordance with 40 CFR 49.159, within 30 days after a final permit decision has been issued, any person who filed comments on the draft permit or participated in the public hearing may petition the EAB to review any condition of the permit decision. The 30-day period within which a person may request review under this section begins when the Region has fulfilled the notice requirements for the final permit decision. A petition to the EAB is, under section 307(b) of the Act, a prerequisite to seeking judicial review of the final agency action. For purposes of judicial review, final agency action occurs when the EPA denies or issues a final permit and agency review procedures are exhausted.

Contact Information: If you have questions, or if you wish to obtain further information, please contact Catherine Valladolid at (415) 947-4103 or via email at [email protected]. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive future information about this draft permit decision or other permit decisions issued by EPA Region 9, please contact the EPA at [email protected].

 ***Please bring the foregoing notice to the attention of all persons who would be interested in this matter.***

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