One Day Left! Letters Needed to Protect Bear Butte

One Day Left! Letters Needed to Protect Bear Butte

Support our journalism. Become a Patron!
December 1, 2008

The Meade County Commissioners (MCC) are about to hold a hearing for the renewal of liquor licenses at venues surrounding Bear Butte, a sacred place of prayer to over thirty Indigenous Nations across the Plains.

The hearing will take place this coming Wednesday, December 3rd at 4:00. Your letters of opposition are urgently needed before Tuesday, December 2nd at 4:00 pm to help make sure the MCC does NOT renew the licenses.

Please see below for more information and a sample letter you can send, courtesy of Tamra Brennan,

Action Alert! Opposition Letters Needed for Protection of Bear Butte

Hello everyone,

It’s that time again! The upcoming Meade County Commissioners hearing for the liquor license renewals around Bear Butte, will be held this coming Wednesday December 3rd at 4:00.

We are asking for folks to PLEASE send in opposition letters to the MCC. I have created a sample letter for folks to use, if they wish. You can use this letter, modify it or write your own, but please take a moment to send one in.

If you live in the area and are able to make the hearing, please join us! We are hoping to have alot of people attend to oppose in person as well.

Since we are on very limited time, please either email or fax your letters, the info is provided below.

The DEADLINE FOR LETTERS is Tuesday, December 2nd by 4:00 pm (mtn time).

In addition to the liquor license hearing, at 3pm (at the same location) The Meade County Commissioners will also having public comment and review of candidates to replace Dean Wink on the MCC seat for District 1, which is the Bear Butte District. Dean Wink successfully won the State Representative District #29 seat, in the November election and will be vacating his seat as Meade County Commissioner.

This is also a important meeting to attend, so we can voice our opinions and suggestions about the applicants. Normally this is a public vote position, however since it is in the middle of a cycle, the MCC will appoint a candidate.


December 3rd

3pm – Public Comment for MCC District 1 seat
4pm – Liquor License Renewal Hearing

Meade County Commissioners
1425 W. Sherman St.
Sturgis S.D. 57785

(605) 347-2360 (Phone)
(605) 347-5925 (Fax)

Email the letters directly to

Copy and paste the sample letter into a new email document. Please remember to add today’s date and your personal contact info (full name and address) below the signature line. Thank you!

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:

Dear County Commissioners:

I oppose the annual on-sale & off sale liquor license renewal’s for all Rally locations surrounding Bear Butte, including but not limited to, Broken Spoke Campground, Glencoe Campground/Rockin the Rally and Buffalo Chip.

The annual on-sale & Off sale liquor license renewal should be denied because the locations are not suitable.

Bear Butte is sacred land. There is extensive documentation of the spiritual and historical significance of Bear Butte to the area. Each summer for thousands of years, people have traveled hundreds of miles, to Bear Butte to worship and conduct their sacred ceremonies. People travel to Bear Butte for healing, guidance, spiritual renewal and to fast on the sacred mountain.

The Meade County Commissioners have arbitrarily decided location is not a issue, over the past three years. There is NO justification for this continual decision, the failure to take into account the Tribes repeated requests in regards to location, is not acceptable. Location IS a ISSUE for the people that continue to travel to Bear Butte to pray, and for the generations yet to come. This will never change and we will continue to oppose until the MCC realizes that location, is in fact, a issue.

This decision is a direct violation of the, American Indian Freedom of Religion Act of 1978, in addition to Executive Order 13007 Protection and Accommodation of Access to “Indian Sacred Sites” signed by President Clinton on May 24, 1996.

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 also negatively impact the experience of people who enjoy the spiritual, cultural, and natural resources at 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.

The application should be denied on the basis that the applicants are not suitable characters to hold license(s) as proposed.

On Monday, August 4th 2008 these venues created complete chaos with noise, helicopters and several hours of gridlock traffic from Interstate 90, through Sturgis onto Highway 79. Tens of thousands of people, traveled onto Highway 79 to attend these concerts being held at these locations on the same night, all directly next to, and effecting Bear Butte.

These venues 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 to Bear Butte to pray.

I respectfully request for the Meade County Commissioners to DENY ALL of the liquor license renewals for the renewal’s for all Rally locations surrounding Bear Butte, including but not limited to, Broken Spoke Campground, Glencoe Campground/Rockin the Rally and Buffalo Chip.


PLEASE INSERT YOUR full legal name and address here

Thank you for your continued support for the protection of Bear Butte! For additional information about the ongoing efforts to Protect Bear Butte, please visit our website at

Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation is a grass roots organization, working towards the protection of sacred sites across the country. Our organization has been actively involved with the ongoing struggle to Protect Bear Butte for several years. We are continuing these efforts, our organization is currently leading the campaign regarding the new developments and further expansions at Bear Butte. Please visit our main website at and our dedicated website for Bear Butte at

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at

In peace & solidarity,

Tamra Brennan


“Our sacred lands are all that remain keeping us connected to our place on
Mother Earth, to our spirituality, our heritage and our lands; what’s left of
them. If they take it all away, what will remain except a vague memory of a past
so forgotten?”……excerpt from One Nation, One Land, One People by Tamra
Brennan, 2006

We're fighting for our lives

Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.

independent uncompromising indigenous
Except where otherwise noted, articles on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons License