indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
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:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Businesses show support for LNI tournament (3/27)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux fighter climbing in the ranks (3/27)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives look 10,000 years into the future (3/27)
Ivan Star: The influences of boarding school and Vietnam War (3/27)
Gyasi Ross: Funerals become family reunions in Indian Country (3/27)
Tim Giago hands over the reins as publisher of Native Sun News (3/27)
House committee passes Native American Children's Safety Act (3/27)
Bill to benefit Miami Nation moves forward in House and Senate (3/27)
City extended contract to send treated sewage to sacred peaks (3/27)
Oneida Nation welcomes ruling backing land-into-trust request (3/27)
Lawmakers want BIA to delay new federal recognition reforms (3/27)
Another conviction from Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption probe (3/27)
Editorial: Shakopee Tribe contributes $5M for health initiative (3/27)
Opinion: Navajo Nation enacts 'sin tax' on unhealthy products (3/27)
Editorial: Opposition to Pamunkey Tribe recognition 'revolting' (3/27)
Dennis Jenkins: Hypocrisy for new tribal casinos in Connecticut (3/27)
Supreme Court asked to hear Kialegee Tribal Town gaming case (3/27)
Ho-Chunk Nation extends agreement for off-reservation casino (3/27)
Indiana lawmakers seek role in Pokagon Band gaming compact (3/27)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux leader not pleased with boycott (3/26)
Lakota Country Times: Lakota Nation Invitational stays in Rapid (3/26)
Native Sun News: Mayor of Rapid City addresses race relations (3/26)
Jane Daugherty: Tribal e-commerce continues to draw scrutiny (3/26)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee's field hearing (3/26)
Richard Iron Cloud: Remove murderer's name from sacred peak (3/26)
Native Youth: Bring dental therapy providers to Indian Country (3/26)
Steven Newcomb: Tribal nations still under dominating process (3/26)
Law firm hosts tribes for session on marijuana in Indian Country (3/26)
Judge upholds BIA decision on Oneida Nation land-into-trust bid (3/26)
Appeals court rules against Crow Tribe in housing grant dispute (3/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation raises minimum wage to $2.75 above federal (3/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe to appeal decision in recognition lawsuit (3/26)
Racist emails of former Montana federal judge to be preserved (3/26)
Shingle Springs Band considered but rejected indoor gun range (3/26)
House panel backs bill to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (3/26)
Quapaw Tribe did not include casino on land-into-trust request (3/26)
Chumash Tribe never got apology for diplomat's casino remark (3/26)
Governor won't sign casino compact with Fort Sill Apache Tribe (3/26)
Cherokee Nation approves $6.9M renovation project for casino (3/26)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux veteran training for Paralympics (3/25)
Alaska Native musher Chuck Schaeffer completes 2015 Iditarod (3/25)
LTBB News: Michigan tribes come together for historic meeting (3/25)
Lecture focuses on repatriation of tribal intellectual properties (3/25)
Board still working on delivering money for Cobell scholarships (3/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair field hearing on drugs in Indian Country (3/25)
Bill for tribal marijuana compacts up for hearing in Washington (3/25)
Choctaw Nation chief hopes to travel to Ireland for monument (3/25)
HHS urged to do more to help tribes with foster care programs (3/25)
Eastern Cherokees work to teach language to new generations (3/25)
Another suggestion for Indian woman on $20 bill -- Sakakawea (3/25)
Man from Crow Tribe cites self-defense in fatal casino shooting (3/25)
Shawnee Tribe sees opposition to off-reservation gaming plan (3/25)
Navajo Nation signs Class III casino compact with New Mexico (3/25)
Quapaw Tribe insists a casino isn't focus of Arkansas land plan (3/25)
Suquamish Tribe reaches deal to allow highway work at casino (3/25)
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.