Editorial: Tribes need to buy Bear Butte land

"Now that the Sturgis motorcycle rally is over, attention will return to competing visions for the land around Bear Butte State Park: development or preservation.

American Indians and supporters marched to downtown Sturgis on Friday before rally week to call attention to their call for a buffer zone around Bear Butte, which they consider to be a sacred site. They also called on bikers to stay away from Highway 79 which runs past the butte so that the noise from their motorcycles don't disturb their prayers.

As action at the rally continues to move away from downtown Sturgis, more people will eye the land east of Sturgis and near Bear Butte as a prime location for rally-related events.

ndian tribes can't realistically depend on landowners and rallygoers to voluntarily adhere to a buffer zone. The solution is for tribes and supporters to buy the land around Bear Butte and preserve it from development. Three tribes have spent $1.3 million to buy 2.6 square miles of land near Bear Butte, but a five-mile buffer zone would encompass more than 78 square miles.

Buying a buffer zone would be expensive, but it also would be the surest way to preserve the land surrounding Bear Butte from inevitable development."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Rally vs. Bear Butte (The Rapid City Journal 8/15)

Relevant Links:
Bear Butte International Alliance - http://matopaha.org/wp
Defenders of the Black Hills - http://www.defendblackhills.org

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