Home Meetings Meetings May 27, 2006

May 27, 2006

May 27, 2006

Defenders of the Black Hills
Regular Meeting Minutes
Saturday? -? May 27, 2006
St. Issac Jogues Church coffee room, Rapid City, SD

Chair:? Charmaine White Face, Coordinator
Recording Secretary:? Karissa

Opening Prayer:? Garvard Good Plume

Opening Remarks:? Charmaine - Encouraged remembering to keep focused on the issues.


Reading of the April 22nd Minutes:? Karissa? - Minutes were approved with changes.

1.? Treasurer's Report:? Brian Brademeyer

2.? Office? Not enough money to keep the office open another month.? Last day is Wed. May 31. Phone line:? Charmaine will direct the 399-1868 number to her home with a distinctive ring.? Also get DSL instead of AOL, possibly with an e-mail address change.

3. Bear Butte
a. Need to do fund raising for shooting range case liabilities to pay lawyer for out-of-pocket expenses which total $28,000+. Charmaine will send letter to tribes for contributions.? Defenders raised $13,000 three years ago.? Will also ask Marty Stewart to do a benefit concert. Charmaine and Garvard will follow-up.
b. Bumper Stickers: As we have a partial underwriter, idea was for a bumper sticker regarding Bear Butte. No concensus on Bumper Stickers.? Tabled until next meeting.

4. Cave Hills Abandoned Uranium Mines Update: Harold One Feather
The US Forest Service, Custer National Forest, suddenly received $22 million from the EPA. If that amount comes from CERCLA (Superfund), Kerr-McGee, the company that mined the Riley Pass Mine will have to pay it back. Looks like a smoke screen since no real action has been taken with that money. Superfund is not a reclamation law - it's a liability law - holds people liable for the messes they made. CERCLA Primer available at the office. Forest Service is just focusing on Riley Pass mine and has told people that "we're taking care of it." The question is what about all of the other mines? There is no water quality monitoring in NW SD. All water quality assessment is East River. Areas in NW South Dakota have very high rates of cancer and are referred to as the "Cancer Belt." Dennis Brown is the EPA Tribal Liaison Officer for Region 8.? Information the Defenders should have is the Administrative Record of this Project. It was requested but we will have to go to Camp Crook and ! copy it ourselves.? We will need to rent a portable copier, and have travel money.? Harold also handed out a form letter to SD Gov. Rounds with copies to Congressional people.???? Charmaine:? South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is partnering with Oglala Lakota College to do a study on whether the run-off and dust is radioactive. Concerned that they are taking young students there. We have contacts with possible lawyers. Our testimony in Feb. at the State Tribal Relations Committee pushed the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources to begin doing surface water testing - 38 tests (map available), but we don?t trust the state since they did nothing for more than 40 years. If we can get funding, we would like to do 50 tests on surface water and 50 tests on ground water for radiation at $300/test. We have volunteers to gather the samples but will need travel funds as the distances to cover are so great.? Also must include Wyoming. At Standing Rock, the EPA ! gave a presentation where they gave results on natural uranium levels which matched Defenders' tests, but they didn't test for isotopes and radionuclides which were present. The USFS wouldn't give the names of Partially Responsible Parties (PRPs), saying it's proprietary info of the Forest Service.? Should be public information since this is federally funded.? Need a lawyer to assist us in getting the list of PRPs from the USFS.? She talked to Sen. Johnson?s people and Rep. Herseth about this because there needs to be a special federal bill written to handle all the cleanup rather than putting this on the Superfund list which will take many years to complete.? Charmaine has been on WBAI radio, New York City, three times now on this topic. Fund raising: Idea is to do a concert/event on the East Coast and on the West Coast to raise awareness and the funds to do a national campaign since everyone needs to be informed of this threat in the middle of the United States, and to encourage Congress to pass a special federal law on the cleanup.
Harold: Would like to hold an informational meeting at historic Slim Buttes since there are mines there that are polluting the Grand and the Morreau Rivers.? The people from Cheyenne River Reservation need to know about these mines and the Morreau River.
JoAnne: Did a 6 minute video with Wilmer and Susan from Voyage Production, primarily on water.

5.? Raffle drawing pushed back to June 24th meeting as the Raffle Queen is still selling tickets in NY.? We honored her and her husband when they visited recently as Jenny T. has helped keep the office open three times by selling raffle tickets.

6.? Auction on E-bay - Lilly will do this.? Also Congratulations to Lilly and Jim on their new baby girl!

7.? DM&E update: DM&E Railroad Company wants to build a new railroad line - 240 miles through Cheyenne River Valley. Every 20 minutes there would be a one to a one&half-mile long coal train coming through.? Two railroad companies are already hauling coal out of the Powder River Basin which is within the Treaty Territory. The empty trains will bring what back from the East Coast? Red Shirt community on the Pine Ridge Reservation will be required to have training for handling hazardous materials per the Environmental Impact Study. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, is still fighting the DM&E.? Charmaine talked with Mayo Clinic and suggested that they check whether the coal is radioactive since there are many abandoned uranium mines in and near these areas. If it is, that could be a way to stop the train?s plans.

8.? UN Permanent Forum Update: JoAnn? - Indigenous people said clearly that their interventions cannot be made to fit within the UN?s? Millenium Development Goals.? Also Record officially shows that Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council submitted intervention at Permanent Forum.

9.? Homestake:? Selling land to state in Spearfish Canyon - Charmaine wrote an editorial, Rapid City Journal Forum Page - May 27, 2006. Let us know if you wish a copy.

10. Available for Donations and Postage: Stocking Caps, Baseball Caps, Buttons, and Defenders? video ?Destruction in the Black Hills?: CD requires Windows Media Player 9 or 10; or DVD format; or VHS.? (The VHS copies cost us $7 a copy.)

Congratulations to Janice Badhorse Larson on her graduation!

Closing Prayer:? Janice

Submitted by Karissa

Concurred by Charmaine White Face

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