January 04, 2008

Clash over Bear Butte

No Room On Butte For BarsLast summer protests were held in conjunction with the influx of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally about development around the butte is related to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who are drawn annually to the Sturgis area. Bars, campgrounds, concerts, and even new highway construction have been cited as encroaching on the geologic formation and its significance.

Which leads to a discussion about significance. Is it simply a cultural clash that causes this conversation? Is an annual, financially lucrative party by definition less important that quiet contemplation-by people of any ilk-who might enjoy the scenery and presence of Bear Butte? Or is it mostly a Native American issue, where the question focuses on deserved respect for a sacred site? And finally, can a site sacred to one group be special to a variety of ilks, and respectfully enjoyed by everyone?

No comments: