Letters needed to protect Mato Paha (Bear Butte)

by May 28, 2008

The Western Shoshone Defense Project (WSDP) has sent out an action alert warning of a renewed danger facing Mato Paha, a sacred place of prayer to over thirty Indigenous Nations across the Plains.

Located eight miles southwest of Sturgis, South Dakota, Mato Paha is steadily being surrounded by bars, camping grounds and venues that will attract tens of thousands of people.

One of those venues, as you may already know, is the infamous Sturgis County Line, which runs adjacent to Mato Paha. The developer, one Mr. Jay Allen, once boasted that he plans to change the name to “Sacred Grounds,” and that he'll provide "hundreds of acres to party… in a safe haven, free from a policed environment, that’s what I’m talking about! … over 150,000 s.f. of asphalt for semi-tractor trailors… 22,500 s.f. of… ice cold beer… kick-butt music & oh yea, hot hot women!”

After failing to obtain a liquor license for the venue - because of 'character issues' said the court - Sturgis County Line received a new owner. Target Logisitics, a multi-million dollar corporation.

Renaming it to the "Broken Spoke Campground", the company recently announced they will be opening the location year-round, and plan to host biker events in June, July and August. They've also applied to the Meade County Commissioners for their own liquor license.

According to the action alert, which you will find below, the Meade County Commissioners will hold a hearing for the liquor license on Thursday, June 5th for the liquor license. Your letters are needed to help make sure the application NOT approved. Following the alert, there is a Sample letter you can send to the Commissioners.

For more information and updates on the Protection of Bear Butte, please visit www.ProtectBearButte.com or contact Tamra@ProtectSacredSites.org.

You can receive email updates for Bear Butte at info@ProtectBearButte.com - put "sign up for email updates" in the subject line.

Action Alert ~ Letters needed for Bear Butte

The upcoming hearing for both NEW and renewal Malt Beverage applications will be held at Meade County Commissioners on Thursday, June 5th at 3:30 p.m.

We are requesting as many supporters as possible attend this hearing. It is important for both locals and Tribes with interest surrounding Bear Butte to attend this hearing, to voice your oppositions to this NEW license for Broken Spoke Campground, formally known as Sturgis County Line.

Many of you may already be aware, on April 14th, 2008 Jay Allen announced he was in the process of transferring Sturgis County Line, to Target Logistics Corporation dba Broken Spoke Campground, LLC. Their new General Manager David Shoe has taken over the business. Target Logistics is a multi-million dollar corporation, that has the intent of expanding and further developing Broken Spoke Campground, adjacent to Bear Butte. They recently announced they would be opening the location year round, and will be hosting biker events in June, July and August.

This issue is more critical than ever, we need your support and your opposition letters!

Enclosed is a sample letter that can be sent to Meade County, just copy and paste it into a new email and send to the provided email address for Meade County. Or create your own letter, but PLEASE use the issues in bold as your focal points, suitability of location and character are the only two legal measures, for revocation or denial of new liquor licenses or renewals.

Please don't forget to add your legal name and address in your emails, this will assure that your email is counted!

DEADLINE for letters is JUNE 4th at 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Here is a complete list of all renewals of establishments located directly around Bear Butte:

Iron Horse Campground, Richard Arneson, Tract D & E of BH Subdivision, lying in Tract W1/2 of Sec.

32, T6N, R6E, BHM, Meade County, SD – On-Off Sale;

Buffalo Chip Campground LLC. N1/2 NW1/4, NE1/4, Sec. 8, T5N, R6E, SW1/4, Sec.

4, T5N, R6E, BHM, Meade County, SD – On-Off Sale and Off-Sale SD Wine;

Bear Butte Creek Campground, Mary Hershey Lot 2 & 3, SE1/4NW1/4, S1/2NE1/4, less portion, Sec.

5, T5N, R6E, BHM, Meade County, SD – On-Off Sale;

Full Throttle Saloon & Campground LLC, Lot B of Brennon Subdivision of the NE1/4, Sec.

12, T5N, R5E, BHM, Meade County, SD, On-Off Sale;

Glencoe CampResort, Inc. d/b/a Double J Enterprises Glencoe Subtract B Lots 1 & 5, less 7 acres (2nd revision), Sec. 1, T5N, R5E, BHM; Lots 1 thru 5 S1/2NE1/4, Sec. 6, T5N, R6E, BHM; SE1/4NW1/4, less Tract A (2nd revision), Sec. 31, T6N, R6E, BHM; SE1/4SW1/4 Lot 4, Sec. 31, T6N, R6E, BHM; Lot 1 & 2, Sec. 36, T6N, R5E, BHM; less Govt. Lot 4; SE1/4 SW1/4, SW1/4 SE1/4, E1/2 NW1/4 SE1/4 of Sec. 31, T6N, R6E, BHM, E1/2 N1/2 of Govt. Lot 1 of Sec. 1, T5N, R5E, BHM, Govt. Lot 2 of Sec.

6, T5N, R6E, BHM, Meade County, SD – On-Off Sale;

Dragpipe Saloon LLC, N1/2SE1/4 Sec.

1, T6N, R5E, BHM, Meade County, SD - On-Off Sale;

Free Spirit Campground, LLC – W1/2SW1/4NE1/4 and N1/2NW1/4SE1/4, Section 18, Township 6 North, Range 6 East, BHM, Meade County, SD (retail on-off sale malt beverage).

Crazy Coyoteys LLC., Government Lot 6 in Section 25, Township 6 North, Range 5 East, of the BHM, Meade County, SD less Fritz Subdivision thereof.

– On-Off Sale;

Ride N Rest LLC., Lot 1 & Lot 2 BH Subdivision located in the SW1/4SW1/4 of Sec.

32, T6N, R6E, BHM, Meade County, SD – On-Off Sale;

Sample Letter

Add Today's Date: ____________

Attn: Meade County Auditor
Meade County Board of Commissioners
1425 Sherman Street
Sturgis, SD 67625
Via fax: 605-347-5925
via email: meade@meadecounty.org

Dear County Commissioners:

I oppose the new application for a Malt Beverage liquor license application submitted by General Manager, David Shoe dba Broken Spoke Campground, LLC. The proposed application is for a location that is unsuitable. I request that Meade County Commissioner’s deny the new application. Broken Spoken Campground, LLC formally known as Sturgis County Line, LLC lies within 2 miles North of the actual base of Bear Butte and threatens the natural and historic resources there.

The NEW Malt Beverage license application should be denied because the locations are not suitable. These large scale commercial developments invite noise and cumulative impacts of increased traffic and travel, which all stand to adversely impact the natural serenity and tranquility needed for cultural, ceremonial and other visitations to Bear Butte. They will also negatively impact the experience of people who enjoy the spiritual, cultural, and natural resources at Bear Butte.

The application should be denied on the basis that the applicants are not suitable characters to hold a beer and/or liquor license as proposed. The new application license for General Manager, David Shoe dba Broken Spoke Campground, LLC should be denied based upon unsuitable character and misrepresentation. The new investors of Broken Spoke Campground, LLC, Target Logistics Corporation, have been made fully aware of the significance and protection for Bear Butte. Issues include, the unsuitability of this location, unacceptable noise and disturbance, that this location continues to cause, to those who travel to Bear Butte who need solitude and serenity. They fail to take into account local concerns of impacts to the spiritual, cultural, and natural resources at Bear Butte. Bear Butte is a place of prayer where the natural environment needs to be free from negative influences of alcohol that could affect religious beliefs and practices of those who travel from around the world to pray.

The new investors, Target Logistics Corporation, dba Broken Spoke Campground, LLC have announced plans for additional development and expansions at Broken Spoke Campground. Their expansions include, opening all year round and hosting various rally events in June, July in addition to August. The loud noise and music from this location throughout the summer will directly effect, encroach upon and interfere with the experience of people who wish to pray and/or visit Bear Butte in seclusion. Many Native Nations and their member’s travel to Bear Butte to pray throughout the year. Bear Butte, a Historical Landmark and sacred site should be protected from the negative influences of beer, liquor and drugs.

I respectfully request for the Meade County Commissioners to DENY the new Malt Beverage license to General Manager, David Shoe and Broken Spoke Campground, LLC


PLEASE INSERT YOUR full legal name
and address

  • Ester Jansen
    May 29, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Did you place this on http://www.care2.com also?
    You get more activist there and a lot from the U.S!


  • Ester Jansen
    May 29, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Check this out,made a link you see if it works the more you note it the more it gets promote and make people aware.
    my first news link on care2


  • Ester Jansen
    May 29, 2008 at 6:34 am

    oyes and did send a letter to the meade@meadecounty.org


  • Tamra Brennan
    May 29, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for posting our action alert on your blog.

    It seems that our info was deleted from the action alert for some reason, so I am posting it in here.

    For additional information, or CURRENT updates on the Protection of Bear Butte, please visit our website at http://www.ProtectBearButte.com or contact Tamra@ProtectSacredSites.org.

    You can sign up for email updates for Bear Butte at info@ProtectBearButte.com , put sign up for email updates in the subject line.

    In peace & solidarity,
    Tamra Brennan
    Grass roots organizations
    Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation
    & Protect Bear Butte



  • May 30, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Great stuff Ester. Care2 is one of the better community activist sites out there. I've used it a few times, but I'm reluctant to post there (and to indymedia, nowpublic.com, gnn.tv and other such sites) because I feel like I'm spamming. Plus, I like to keep an eye on things so I can comment when needed but I can't keep up with it all. Sometimes I wish there were two of me, lol.

    Tamara, thanks for adding your contact info; I'll update the post in a sec...


  • Ester Jansen
    May 30, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Did heard of twitter?
    Can that work also to get more attention?
    Know that it is a struggle for a long time now


  • Siuyin
    June 2, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I realise my contribution probably looks a little out of place following on from a number of very brief comments directing readers to other websites for more information on the issue but I actually got re-directed to this website myself from another newsbulletin that had been sent to my mailbox. So I decided to read about this issue and when I did, I subsequently discovered that I actually have much to say on it. I am writing in solidarity with the actions of my brothers and sisters in Christ, the Cheyenne Nation, who are advocating for their cultural rights to be recognized and customary ways to be respected. This ugly commercial plan to misappropriate Nowah'wus/Mato Paha and exploit it for immoral purposes has to be stopped!!!!!!!!!! This land was given to the Cheyenne Nation by the Creator and as custodians of that land, they have every right to maintain solid relational links with that land and to be guaranteed freedom to be themselves without any outside interference. I am shocked to read that Sturgis County Line venue is already there and the previous proprietor wanted to misappropriate the name Sacred Grounds and apply it to the venue which hosts all kinds of horrible culturally-insulting 'entertainment'! Even though his rubbishy request was never approved (as ownership of the venue changed), the venue still exists and the new corporate ownership wants to expand to hosting biker events all year round! There is enough ugly garbage imposed upon the landscape of the United States from adverse colonialistic influences - (those things like sexploitation-based enterprises that derive much business from gambling, prostitution and general perversity of the human condition) - without adding to it again! As a person with an indigenous heritage - Nasorayya - and although not from the USA, I am really sick and tired of regimes coming in and taking up residence then taking our customs either by repressing their right to be practiced or expropriating them for their own purposes. Historically, my people know all about that as 1700 years ago, this same type of thing happened to Nasorayyan culture - repressed and then expropriated (misused for other purposes). Anyhow, that's another story yet again but nonetheless relevant to why I am so wanting to see Nowah'wus/Mato Paha released from the threat of expropriation - the threat of being taken by outside forces to be misused for something profane. It's not the land of the capitalists, it's the land that our Creator gave to the Cheyenne and it should remain in their hands.


  • Siuyin
    June 2, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I want to add I am sorry for not being more specific and clearer in my criticism of the venue - I know and can appreciate that not all bikers are racists, xenophobes, and thugs - there are some very politically and culturally aware bikers, and of course those that can show solidarity with this campaign - good on them for being a liberating force insofar as the motorbike enthusiast subculture is concerned!!!!


  • June 2, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Siuyin, your comment is not out of place at all, and I'm glad you took the time to respond. The more people that speak out, the better!

    I applaud the bikers too... http://bikersforbearbutte.blogspot.com

    Thanks :D

    Ester, I have heard of twitter before, but I've never taken the time to see if it'd be worth it or not. Maybe one of these days... A.


  • Ester Jansen
    June 2, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Ahni is right and the more the speak the better.
    I know that I always wanted to go and see beautifull places in the U.S,but disco's and bars well
    have that enough over here.
    Maybe you they need more vision and let Natives tell about the land instead of bars
    More and more people are getting into Nature and bounding with it.
    The city makes people sick,The speach of Seatle is recent
    Those places should stay the way they were ment to be.


  • Lynette Warren
    June 11, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    At bearbutte.blogspot.com Tamra Brennan wrote that there is land for sale at the foot of the butte that might be purchased by a developer. She says the land is too expensive for the tribes to buy.

    How much is the land selling for at the foot of Bear Butte?


  • June 12, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Thats is aalways good to know am interested myself also....


  • June 12, 2008 at 9:18 pm


    Tamra could probably answer your question better then me, but after doing a quick search I found several online listings to buy land in the region.

    One offers 19.96 acres a half mile from the "Buffalo Chip" campground for $189,900. Another, 788.37 acres for $622,520. (more listings here, and here)

    As for the land immediately around the butte, I'd say it's in the millions.


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