Defenders of the Black Hills
"America's Secret Chernobyl"
Uranium Mining and Nuclear Pollution
in the Upper Midwestern United States
1. World War II ended with the nuclear bomb and introduced the use of nuclear energy for the production of electricity which caused the price of uranium to rise. Uranium mining in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota began in the middle of the 1960s. As the economy of the Northern Great Plains states depends primarily on agriculture, when uranium was discovered in the region, many get-rich-quick schemes were adopted. Not only were large mining companies pushing off the tops of bluffs and buttes, but small individual ranchers were also digging in their pastures for the radioactive metal. Mining occurred on both public and private land, although the Great Sioux Nation still maintains a claim to the area through the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868, the March 3rd Act of 1871, Article VI of the US Constitution, and the 1980 Supreme Court decision on the Black Hills. The Great Sioux Nation was never consulted on any of this.
Individual Rights Only, for Indigenous Peoples at the UN
Sioux Nation Treaty Council
Since 1984, the Sioux Nation Treaty Council has been sending delegates to the various committees of the United Nations seeking the upholding of lawful and viable treaties made between the Great Sioux Nation and the United States. Meeting after meeting were attended such as the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Update on Pesla Road Project
There are some meetings scheduled for the Pesla Road Project. Information was sent to you before about plans to blacktop this road through an area that is sacred to many Native American nations. Called Pesla, meaning Bald, the area is in the west middle portion of the Black Hills and can clearly be seen by satelite. It is being handled by the Pennington County Road Department.
If you can, please attend both of the meetings and voice your concerns. More sacred places in the Black Hills should not be impacted by paved roads.
1. A Community Information meeting will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2012, from 5 - 7 PM at the Rochford Firehall in Rochford, SD.
2. A Public Scoping Meeting to begin the Environmental Impact Study process will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 5 - 7 PM at the Hill City High School in Hill City, SD. This will be the most important one to attend.
Professional Statistician Analyzes Beetle-Fire Risk on BHNF
The following is from our Treasurer, Brian Brademeyer, and Friends of the Norbeck. Now we have scientific evidence that the pine beetles do not cause wildfires.
The Norbeck Wild Life Area is currently being logged by the US Forest Service in violation of federal law. Our efforts to protect it by asking President Obama to transfer it to the National Park Service have been ignored.
We will keep you up to date on other ideas to protect this last wilderness area in the Black Hills, only 0.05% of the entire Black Hills.
Charmaine White Face, Coordinator
South Dakota of In Situ Leach mining
The following is a message from the Clean Water Alliance of which we are a part. Lilias Jarding has been following this House Bill to reinstate the regulation by the state of South Dakota of In Situ Leach mining.
The uranium mining company, Powetech, last year had the legislature drop the state regulations after their own state office, the SD Department of Environment and Regulation refused to give a permit to Powertech until they answered all of DENR's regulations.
Powetech lobbied the state legislature and won.
This year, one of the SD Representatives has introduced House Bill 1098 to reinstate the state regulations.
Please make a call, write a letter, and-or attend the hearings in the House Committee on State Affairs.
Thanks so much.
Charmaine White Face, Coordinator