indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Plans for shooting range near sacred site scrapped
Monday, January 12, 2004

Lakota activists in South Dakota celebrated over the weekend after learning that plans for a shooting range near sacred Bear Butte have been dropped.

Charmaine White Face, coordinator for the Defenders of the Black Hills, said prayers and good work led the developers to abandon the controversial proposal. Her group led the fight against the shooting range, which would have been built just a few miles from a place where tribal members have gone for thousands of years to practice their religion.

"Thank you to all of you for your prayers, support, and encouragement," White Face said in a statement. "This could not have been accomplished without all of us together."

On Friday, Sturgis Industrial Expansion Corp. (SIEC) and the city of Sturgis filed papers in federal court announcing their decision to withdraw. They said the loss of federal funds for the project "made it impractical and unfeasible to proceed with the development and construction of the shooting range" near Bear Butte.

The actual decision came on Wednesday at a special meeting of the SIEC board. Members voted unanimously to "abandon any further development" on the site in question, according to documents filed with the court.

The move comes nearly a year after Lakota activists first learned of the proposed range. They believed that noise, traffic, pollution and increased visitors would disrupt pilgrimages to Bear Butte, where Lakota and other Plains people go for spiritual guidance.

Defenders of the Black Hills joined with five tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana to stop the range. They sued the developers and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which pledged $825,000 in federal funds for the project.

It was these funds that would eventually break the deal. Acting on the complaints made by the Indian plaintiffs and the plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit, HUD investigators found that South Dakota officials submitted misleading information in order to obtain money from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Upon learning of the lapse, Gov. Mike Rounds (R) returned the money to HUD. That left the developers, they said, with no means to move forward.

The idea for the range actually came from former Gov. Bill Janklow (R), who is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of second-degree felony manslaughter for a traffic accident that killed a motorcyclist. He took credit for the idea and it was during his administration that the faulty data was provided to HUD. His administration also was responsible for doling out the CDBG grant to the Sturgis coalition.

Bear Butte is just one of hundreds of sites throughout the U.S. that are threatened by development. Indian leaders said existing laws, regulations and executive orders aren't enough to protect sacred places, and have called for tougher laws.

White Face testified at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on sacred sites. She described Bear Butte as "one of the most sacred places on the Earth." "The spiritual effects of this place can be felt by almost everyone," she said, adding that the view from the top of the small mountain "is unexplainable in human language."

Court Filings:
Motion to Dismiss | Affidavit | SIED Board Minutes

Relevant Links:
Defenders of the Black Hills - http://www.defendblackhills.org/defenders

Related Stories:
Developers: Shooting range near Bear Butte still on (12/16)
Plans for shooting range near Bear Butte on hold (12/02)
Developers face deadline on proposed shooting range (11/14)
S.D. commission bans hunting at sacred site (11/07)
Janklow thought of shooting range by sacred site (10/17)
Janklow defends use of grant for shooting range (10/16)
S.D. governor says shooting range grant was OK (10/13)
Lakota group seeks protection of Black Hills (09/19)
S.D. to return grant for Bear Butte shooting range (09/19)
Protections for sacred sites called inadequate (06/19)
Federal funds used for shooting range near sacred site (03/25)
Judge to hear tribal suit against shooting range (3/19)
Four tribes file lawsuit to stop shooting range (03/04)

Copyright 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Another week goes by without decision in tribal jurisdiction case (5/31)
Field hearing in South Dakota on Indian Health Service reform bill (5/31)
Supreme Court won't hear long-running Seneca Nation land case (5/31)
Native Sun News: Longtime Indian Health Service staff reassigned (5/31)
Lakota Country Times: Native newspaper brings home 14 awards (5/31)
Delphine Red Shirt: Our language doesn't need 'expert' approval (5/31)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne show love for commod cheese (5/31)
Editorial: Newspaper continues to grow and reach Native readers (5/31)
Mary Annette Pember: Rosebud Sioux Tribe battles meth epidemic (5/31)
Ruth Hopkins: Elizabeth Warren is counting coup on Donald Trump (5/31)
Debra Haaland: Donald Trump mocks Native people and our history (5/31)
Harlan McKosato: Let's conduct new poll on the racist NFL mascot (5/31)
Raymond Foxworth: Tribal opposition to racist names still matters (5/31)
Steven Newcomb: Original nations pushed to accept lower status (5/31)
Mike Myers: Roadblocks to true self-governance in Indian Country (5/31)
Carly McIntosh: A real live study on the use of medical marijuana (5/31)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe not worried about anti-casino lawsuit (5/31)
Ak-Chin Indian Community reacts to measles exposure at casino (5/31)
First Lady Michelle Obama shares story of hope with Indian school (5/26)
Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at Santa Fe Indian School (5/26)
Gary Davis of NCAIED joins Small Business Administration council (5/26)
Arne Vainio: A mother's gift carried me through many life journeys (5/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes score big in fights against energy projects (5/26)
Lakota Country Times: Education Secretary hears from Pine Ridge (5/26)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ending Whiteclay beer sales starts at home (5/26)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux youth lead efforts to bring relatives home (5/26)
Gyasi Ross: Drug epidemic sweeping through Native communities (5/26)
Jacqueline Keeler: Shameful and skewed poll on racist NFL name (5/26)
Interview with Melvin Monette about Cobell scholarship program (5/26)
Auction house in France won't stop sale of sacred tribal property (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band installs new leader after impeachment (5/26)
Kewa Pueblo builds new community around historic trading post (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee elder translates 'Charlotte's Web' into Tsalagi (5/26)
Puyallup Tribe works to keep language alive for new generations (5/26)
Iowa Tribe offers free play on poker website ahead of full launch (5/26)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe offers gaming options closer to home (5/26)
Kaw Nation receives national award for tribal gaming initiatives (5/26)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (5/25)
Indian Health Service announces more hires at troubled hospital (5/25)
Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants (5/25)
Three tribes enter cooperative agreements for buy-back program (5/25)
New leader selected for HUD's Office of Native American Programs (5/25)
Indian relay racers gear up for event hosted by Muckleshoot Tribe (5/25)
Cronkite News: Tribes seek return of property up for sale in France (5/25)
Native Sun News: Anti-suicide effort incorporates tribal traditions (5/25)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth showcase film projects (5/25)
Mark Trahant: Native vote victory for Tawna Sanchez in Oregon (5/25)
Brandon Ecoffey: Lakota people come together in times of need (5/25)
Editorial: Tribes must come up with plan for return of Black Hills (5/25)
John McCoy: Disenrollment and blood quantum are not our way (5/25)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.