Oppose Drilling for Oil at Bear Butte

Clicking on the photograph will take you to Charmaine White Face’s informative article about Bear Butte as a sacred site for Native Americans.

I recently received a copy of the news item posted below. Today I found the petition online at Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources. 


Drilling for oil at Bear Butte is like drilling for oil in other sacred places.  It’s like drilling for oil in Vatican City, Jerusalem, Mecca, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Delphi, or under the Bodhi Tree. Please note that there has not been much done to draw attention to this oil venture.  It’s been kept pretty darn quiet. Please spread the news about this proposed oil development.   

South Dakota: Petition To Stop Oil Drilling Near Bear Butte


To: Nakota Energy, Department of Natural Resources Oil & Energy, Meade County Commissioners
On November 18, 2010, the Department of Natural Resources approved an application for oil drilling just west of Bear Butte for Nakota Energy LLC. Another application was approved on August 18, 2010 to evaluate oil possibilities in the area.
The DNR held a contested case hearing in Pierre South Dakota on the 18th, unknown to most of Meade County residents and/or the general public. The notification of public notice for said hearing was very limited, if at all.
The public needs to have proper input on this issue, have the ability to oppose and the opportunity to voice concerns about oil drilling next to Bear Butte.
Bear Butte is a sacred site located in the Black Hills and has been subjected to continual development and encroachment which violates the sacredness of the mountain. Exploitation of Mother Earth it’s minerals, oil and other natural resources is another violation of encroachment against Bear Butte.
The discovery of oil and potential for drilling near Bear Butte will bring further unwanted development, noise pollution, traffic and population to the mountain.
Bear Butte Lake has been a National Wildlife Refuge in cooperation with State Parks and USFWS since 1967. It is home for migratory birds and endangered species and is protected by Federal law. The risk for potential oil spills, leaks and accidents could greatly affect local wells and water supplies, Bear Butte Lake, Bear Butte Creek and Spring Creek. The environmental impact of oil spills has devastating effects on wildlife and water supplies. We want to keep the surrounding area of Bear Butte a peaceful and tranquil environment, which does not include oil drilling fields and machinery.
Bear Butte is a sacred site, a cultural icon and has four National Designations for protection including:
National Historical Landmark listed on December 21, 1981 National Historical Places listed on June 19, 1973 National Natural Landmark, listed on April 1965 Registered National Trail (Bear Butte Summit Trail), listed on June 1,1971
The mountain deserves respect and protection, not exploitation.
The undersigned hereby each oppose all oil drilling near Bear Butte and request DNR to revoke the recent application(s) and properly open the issue for public comments and concerns.
Please consider our request and reopen public comments.
Thank you.
Sign the Petition Here.

Every signature is important.  As of this post there are 564 signatures.   You’d fight to keep  BP, Chevron or Shell  from drilling in your sacred space, wouldn’t you?


  1. Gøril said,

    December 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Some of us human beings don`t hold anything sacred, except the bankaccount.

    • December 10, 2010 at 4:15 am

      Agreed. Unfortunately many of these unhumane humans use their stufffed bank accounts to impose their values upon the rest of us. Hmm. methinks that needs to cease and desist. Hello Goril. Welcome to my blogcasa. Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts.

      • Gøril said,

        December 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

        I went there in July. A truly sacret and peaceful place. There were people exercising there,up and down the paths. This is a place to be in spirit, not to think: ” Oh,maybe I`ll walk faster this time,just keep an eye on my clock,tikk takk…”

      • December 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm

        Welcome, Goril. You raise a good point–some people just don’t seem to understand the concept of appropriate places & times for appropriate activities. It’s like everything is just a huge playground/development opportunity.

  2. artistatexit0 said,

    December 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    The fact that this is a respected sacred site should say it all. Obviously with oil, nothing is sacred.

  3. December 5, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Thank you much for posting this issue, and for the link to the petition.
    We appreciate your efforts in keeping your eyes, heart and mind open, and for continuously presenting delicate but most needed information to a smart audience.

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