Bear Butte in August 2006 AP Photo/Morry Gash
PIERRE, S.D. (AP)-For centuries, members of the Lakota, Cheyenne and other American Indian tribes have been climbing Bear Butte to fast and hold religious ceremonies.
Colorful prayer cloths hanging from trees line the path to the top of the mountain, which rises about 1,300 feet above the surrounding plain.
But often, and especially in August, the serenity of the site is disturbed by a deafening roar, caused by thousands of motorcycles.
Indians have sought for years to block development of land around the butte into campgrounds, bars and other sites that could interfere with their religious use of the mountain. Now they have an ally in the governor.
Gov. Mike Rounds wants to spend more than $1 million to prevent developers from putting biker bars and other noisy businesses on ranch land near the mountain on the northern edge of the Black Hills.
Saying he wants to protect the beauty and peace of the religious site, Rounds has proposed using state, federal and private money to buy a perpetual easement that would prevent commercial and residential development of some land on the western side of Bear Butte.
Indians working to protect Bear Butte praise the Republican governor's plan.
Entire article: http://www.reznetnews.org/article/st...ng-sacred-site