Home Meetings Meetings April 24, 2004

April 24, 2004

April 24, 2004

Defenders of the Black Hills Meeting Notes 4-24-2004

Opening Prayer: Janice Bad Horse Larson


Minutes read by Nancy Kile

Treasurers Report: Brian Brademeyer

Opening Remarks: Charmaine White Face Defenders currently have four presentations which include: Brian's slide presentation: "The Effects of Logging in the Black Hills"; Aveleena's Power Point
presentation: "Sacred Sites within the Fort Laramie Treaty Territory", Charmaine's presentation on "Known Sacred Sites in the Black Hills and The Destruction " video taped from the Sacred Lands Conference in California which will be sent upon completion; and a documentary about the Missouri River which appeared on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Discusssion on the need to videotape Brian's and also for the Website, and making these available for other uses.

1.) Candidate Forum and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty Commemoration A copy of the questionnaire that Defenders sent to the congressional candidates was reviewed by those attending the meeting. Terry Begay, Libertarian candidate for the House, will be attending. Tim Giago was going to attend but has
since withdrawn from the Senate race. (Bob Newland, newly announced Libertarian candidate for Senate, will attend.) In addition to previously sent letters and faxes, on April 17th, at the Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, hand delivered flyers and invitations to the Candidate Forum were given to Republican candidate, Larry Diedrich, and to aides for Democrat candidate, Stephanie Herseth, and Senator Tom Daschle. Residents in Sturgis, that same day, gave Senator Tom Daschle a Candidate Forum flyer and another verbal invitation during his visit to Meade County.

A Panel of members from the surrounding Bands will discuss the Questions with the Candidates. To provide for more effective use of time, questions from the public will be accepted and given to the Panel who will then present them to the Candidates for discussion.

Defenders will host a Treaty Commemoration along with the Candidate Forum as the Treaty Reenactment was cancelled at Pine Ridge. This year marks the 136th Anniversary of the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation. Respected elder and Lakota delegate to the United Nations, Antoine Black Feather, has been invited to speak about the
international status of the Treaty and his work in the international arena.  Panelists, Guest Speaker and Candidates will meet in hall for coffee and tea at 12:30. Logistics and volunteers for set up, cooking and take down are in place. (The Forum will be held in the Hall due to the cooler weather that is

2.) Hazard Trees South Dakota Department of Transportation and the U.S. Forest Service, who manage the Black Hills National Forest, proposed to remove "hazard trees" along the Norbeck Scenic Byway, Hwy 16A, also called the Pig Tail Bridge Road, or Iron Mountain Road. Ancient yellow-bark pine, oak and other hardood trees were marked for removal with paint. Charmaine and Brian noticed trees with diameters larger than 20 inches were more likely to be painted for removal. This size of log is highly valued by the timber industry. It was believed that there was time to appeal to the responsible parties for intervention but within two weeks of viewing the "hazard" trees, Brian and Charmaine learned the trees were cut down leaving two foot stumps. The taking of these old trees appears to be an unusually rushed and unnecessary project as the trees were more than 100 years old and no hazard to anyone.

3.) Bear Butte All Nations Gathering Defenders is organizing this event, funded by the SEVA Foundation, to discuss permanent protection of Bear Butte. Discussions will include; Sacred Place Designation, Land Trust for all Nations, and Federal Protection. Representatives from the areas of scared lands guardianship will be invited to speak. Defenders of the Black Hills nominated Bear Butte as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historical Places. The determinations will be announced early in May. Check out http://www.nationaltrust.org/11most/

This outdoor meeting will be held at the Elk Creek Resort, Deerview, one mile east of I-90 (exit 46) on Elk Creek Road, Piedmont, SD. Camping sites are available. Drinks, morning snacks and an evening meal will be provided on both days.

Final planning for this event will take place during the May 22nd regular Defenders meeting. (Note: The planning meeting date for May 15 was changed to the 22nd.) We need volunteers for security, runners to bring in the Saturday and Sunday evening meal from Rapid City, volunteers to set up and serve meals, and drivers/vans for transportation to possible Inipi at Bear Butte and possibly airport pickups. Please call the office to volunteer: 605-399-1868, leave a message with your phone number. Other contact numbers are 605-343-5387 or 605-720-0282.

Open Discussion:

Watch dogs are needed for each of the 24 issues we have listed in the brochure. For example, Wind Cave has a tourist facility whose existing septic system is failing. A 10 mile sewer line from Wind Cave to the Hot Springs sewer facility was proposed. This project was an engineering and environmental disaster and would cost @ $3.5 million. Fortunately, the citizens of Hot Springs voted the plan down.

However, the new threat there is the building of a sewage treatment facility, or the leveling of a mountain to build a larger lagoon. Wind Cave is a sacred place made into a tourist stop. Would minimizing the number of tourists lessen the need for expanded sewage facilities? More volunteer watchdogs are needed as there are too many issues for the existing volunteers to adequately cover. Charmaine will submit proposals to hire paid staff for certain projects, but that process will take time. Further discussion on cultural sites protection followed.

Debbie White Plume invited Defenders to bring Brian's presentation on logging in the Black Hills to Manderson in May. She will arrange a meeting place and overnight accommodations if a two day meeting is needed.

Mike Collins, hydrologist and geologist, expressed an interest in the (CBM) coal bed methane issue in the Powder River Basin, and contamination from discharged water into the Cheyenne and Belle Fourche Rivers. We will send him the information we have collected.

Marv Kammerer reported a 200 bed minimum security facility is proposed to be built east of Rapid City. The City Council meeting to discuss this issue is scheduled for May 3rd at 5:30 p.m. A question is whether a cultural inventory has been completed on this site.
Mr. Kammerer also reported on a village site that is being sold for housing development near Piedmont. It needs protection. We need someone to take on this project which would mean visiting the site with Marv, taking pictures, getting legal description, contacting National Trust for Historic Preservation and other officials, gathering information for a Press Release or Press Conference to inform the public of this planned destruction of a treasure.

Handouts: (Please let us know if you wish a copy.)

Public Scoping Meeting on Commercial Air Tours of Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore, Tues. May 4, 6:00 PM, Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn, Hammons Conference Room, 505 N. 5th St.(or Haines Ave.), Rapid City, SD

FCC Localization Hearing, May 26th, 2004. Place to be announced

Closing Prayer: Debbie White Plume

Submitted by Nancy Kile, Secretary
Concurred by Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

Mission Statement

"Defenders of the Black Hills is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the environment of the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Territories, Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation."

Speaking about radioactive fallout, the late President John F. Kennedy said,

"Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent."

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests