Population and community resources
Social statistics for the Esparto-Capay Valley region are compiled in the U.S. Census under the listing as Census Tract 115, Yolo County, California. In the 1990 census the total population of this tract was reported to be 3,673. In the 2000 census the figure had increased to 4,552, a gain of about 23 percent.
General demographic profile (2000)
Age distribution (percent)
Occupied housing units1,471 Owner-occupied units (percent)73.2
In comparison with these totals for the entire tract, the census-designated unit of Esparto alone had a total population of 1,858, a slightly younger median age (32.2), and a slightly higher percentage (42.1) of Hispanic/Latino residents. (In 2000, Yolo County as a whole had a population of 169,300, of whom 25.9 percent reported themselves as Hispanic/Latino.)
Employment in the Capay Valley Region
In this rural region employment is largely agriculturally based, with the exception of the school district and Cache Creek Casino. The largest employer in the area is the casino, with approximately 1,500 employees in 2002. RH Phillips Winery, north of Esparto and reportedly the 25th largest winery in the U.S. in terms of production, employs slightly more than 100 people. Several of the organic farms in the valley employ 20 to 30 workers nearly year-round. Other area employers in farming, the gravel industry, retail and office services, and manufacturing, generally employ fewer than 10 individuals.
The unincorporated town of Esparto is the largest community along Highway 16 west of Woodland. The town has recently been increasing in population as new housing subdivisions have been built. According to SACOG estimates, the Esparto region is expected to continue to grow at an annual rate of about 1.6 percent from 2000 to 2020, adding some 1,440 residents for a total increase of about 37 percent. The median household income for the Esparto region in 1999 was calculated at $41,901.
In 2001-2002, the Esparto Unified School District had a total student enrollment of 916, with 623 in K-8 and 293 in the high school. More than 50 percent of the district's students are from Hispanic-Latino backgrounds. About 42 percent of Esparto high school graduates went on to higher education in the year 2001. Average scores of those taking the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) have been lower than the Yolo County and state averages, but Esparto schools have been improving in recent years in accordance with state requirements.
Local Governmental Agencies
The County of Yolo takes responsibility for most governmental functions relating to rural areas. Those county offices with particular applicability to the Esparto-Capay Valley area are:
Children & Family Services Commission
Office of Emergency Services
Community Partnership Agency
Esparto Convenience Center (recycling)
Planning and Public Works
UC Cooperative Extension
Yolo Arts Council
Yolo County Office of Education
Yolo County Flood Control & Water Conservation District
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Rumsey Indian Rancheria and Cache Creek Casino
The Rumsey Rancheria, home of the Rumsey Band of the Wintun Indian Tribe, is located near Brooks in the Capay Valley, 15 miles west of Woodland. The rancheria was relocated here in 1942 from its original site near Rumsey. Tribal lands in federal trust consist of three parcels: a 56-acre site at the intersection of State Highway 16 and County Road 75A, a 118-acre parcel along the highway two miles south, and 83.5 acres behind the 118-acre parcel.
The 56-acre acre site is being developed into permanent homes and community facilities for tribal members. The 118-acre parcel was developed into an Indian Bingo operation in the 1980s and now contains a full-spectrum casino and parking lots. The 83.5-acre parcel, part of an acquisition of 300 acres behind the casino, is being planned for development of a golf course. The Tribe has also completed the purchase of more than 1,200 acres across Highway 16 from the casino, land still in the agricultural preserve.
The Rumsey Band of the Wintun Tribe is subject to the same federal laws as U.S. citizens, but exercises sovereign powers in self-government, including the defining of tribal membership, the enforcement of tribal laws, and the regulation of tribal business. There are currently 23 adult members and 22 children. Adult members govern themselves through the Tribal Community Council, led by an elected tribal chair, secretary and treasurer, and two at-large members. The Tribal Council manages the Cache Creek Indian Bingo & Casino, the Brooks Mountain View Mini Mart, and a diverse investment portfolio. The tribal government provides income, health care, housing, and education for its members.
Cache Creek Indian Bingo & Casino facilities in 2002 included a large bingo hall and diverse gaming operations, four eating establishments, and several large parking lots in addition to a gas station and mini-mart. A major expansion of the casino and a new hotel/resort complex are in the planning and construction stages.
In the year 2001 the casino drew more than half a million visitors, and its operations continue to expand. The casino in 2002 employed more than 1,500 individuals year-round, paid almost $40 million per year in salaries and benefits, and maintained more than 125 local and 350 regional vendor accounts.