Lakota Country Times: Bar near Bear Butte might spray sewage

Mato Paha, or Bear Butte, in South Dakota. Photo by Jerrye & Roy Klotz MD / Wikipedia

Bear Butte Neighbor to Spray Sewage?
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times Editor

STURGIS – One local Black Hills news source is reporting that a proposed plan to build a large biker bar and campground near the Sacred site of Bear Butte could possibly include the spraying of sewage as fertilizer.

The Meade County paper has reported that the new Full Throttle Saloon, set to be built on property adjacent to the Sacred Site of Bear Butte, has the option to use sewage collected by camp goers to fertilize the very same property they temporarily occupy.

The report from the Meade County paper also mentioned a South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources policy that allows for “domestic septic waste” to be disposed of at a private treatment facility or through a process called land-application. If the campground opts for the latter state law requires the waste to be disposed of in an area where the public will not be in contact with.

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Several years ago the owner of separate campground near Bear Butte was caught burying trash and other items collected over the course of the Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally in illegal underground pits located near Bear Butte Creek. The activity was exposed by a whistle blower who was a former employee of the campground. The accusations led to several federal indictments against those involved in the contamination.

The original Full Throttle burned to the ground last year and was considered to be one of the most famous biker bars in the entire world. A recent decision by owner Mike Ballard to rebuild the establishment came with a proposed new location right next to Bear Butte.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

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