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Old 01-10-2004, 09:41 PM   #1
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Shooting range near Bear Butte canceled!!!!

GREAT NEWS!!!!! :clap: :bouncy:


http://www.rapidcityjournal.com
Jan.10,2004

Shooting range near Bear Butte canceled
By Bill Cissell, Journal Staff Writer

STURGIS — Sturgis Industrial Expansion won't be building a gun range near
Bear Butte north of Sturgis.

In documents filed in federal court Friday, the development group and the
city of Sturgis asked the court to dismiss lawsuits filed over the location of
the shooting range.

The proposed $900,000 Black Hills Sportsman's Complex came under fire, and
the suits were filed by American Indian tribes and a grassroots group of
citizens called the Defenders of the Black Hills.

The court documents say Sturgis Industrial Expansion voted at a special
meeting Jan. 7 to abandon plans to build the shooting range.

The suits was filed by the tribes and the citizens group because they said
the range, four miles north of Bear Butte State Park — a religious site for many
Indian tribes — would disturb religious ceremonies that take place on Bear
Butte.

The tribes and the citizens group also claimed that a $825,000 Community
Development Block Grant given to the city and turned over to the development group
didn't meet federal guidelines.

A separate investigation determined that allegation to be true, and the money
was returned to the state.

Sturgis Mayor Mark Zeigler said that without the federal funds, the scope of
the project might change. He said that the city and the development
corporation might consider a world-class indoor range.

Contact Bill Cissell at 394-8412 or e-mail [email protected]
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:44 PM   #2
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Following is a copy of an e mail from Charmine WhiteFace Coordinator of Defenders of the Black Hills.

> >Congratulations Defenders!!
> >
> >All the prayers, good work, everything have led to the Sturgis Industrial
> >Expansion Corporation abandoning the idea of building a shooting range
> >near Bear
> >Butte!!
> >
> >Much gratitude is owed to Jim Leach, our attorney, for his volunteerism and
> >excellent work! He called me a short time ago to tell me that the Sturgis
> >Industrial Expansion Corporation filed a motion with the court late this
> >afternoon (Friday) stating that they are abandoning the building of the
> >Shooting Range
> >on the land they purchased near Bear Butte.
> >
> >Thank you to all of you for your prayers, support, and encouragement. This
> >could not have been accomplished without all of us together.
> >
> >It has been almost a year since Defenders first learned about the proposal to
> >build the Shooting Range. We had a prayer gathering in Feb. last year. In
> >order to say an appropriate spiritual thank you (Wopila), we will be planning
> >another prayer gathering and feed at Bear Butte again in February. I will
> >let
> >you all know as soon as I have a chance to get approval of a date from the
> >Rosebud Sioux Tribe. We had our prayers at their lodge last year, and
> >hope to do
> >the same, this time to say thank you.
> >
> >Congratulations Everyone!!
> >
> >Charmaine White Face, Coordinator
> >Defenders of the Black Hills
> >PO Box 2003
> >Rapid City, SD 57709
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Old 01-13-2004, 10:20 AM   #3
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Plans for shooting range near sacred site scrapped

Indianz.Com. In Print.
URL: http://www.indianz.com/News/archives/003204.asp


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)

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Old 01-20-2004, 10:13 AM   #4
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That's awesome..glad you all posted I was kinda wondering what was happening over @ bear butte. Cool !!
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