Monday, July 28, 2008

FOUR Campgrounds near Bear Butte NOW offering HELICOPTER rides

Hello everyone,

Many of you may be aware that the past couple months, we have been battling a new attack of helicopters over the mountain. A couple of months ago, Broken Spoke Campground, formally known as Sturgis County Line were the first to announce they were offering helicopter rides during the rally.

There are now FOUR separate campgrounds near Bear Butte that are offering helicopter rides during the Sturgis Rally.

Just this afternoon, this banner "Helicopter Rides" went up on the side of this trailer, at Ride -N- Rest Campground, on Hwy 79 just a mile or so South of Bear Butte.

I called my contact with the FAA, he is going to give them a call and discuss the issue with flying over Bear Butte. Again, all FAA can do is make "suggestions and guidelines" and request the pilot not fly over Bear Butte. Any of these campgrounds can decide at any point, to fly over the mountain during the rally, and legally we can't stop them. We have made a attempt to take legal action, however since Bear Butte is a State Park, instead of Federal we are limited on what recourse actions we can take.

In the conversation with the FAA, he stated that there are two additional campgrounds that have contacted him, that will be offering helicopter rides during the rally. He also spoke to them about not flying over Bear Butte as well.

This is now a total of four campgrounds which include; Buffalo Chip, Lamphere Ranch, Ride-N-Rest and Broken Spoke Campgrounds all offering helicopter rides during the Sturgis Rally.
Weather they all stay away from flying over Bear Butte, and listen to the FAA's suggested guidelines or not, will remain the question. The other three have not specifically stated that they would be flying over Bear Butte, but until the rally is over, we wont know for sure. Broken Spoke is now claming that they will not be flying over Bear Butte.

We will believe it when we DON"T see it in all four cases.

However, even if they do not fly over Bear Butte, keep in mind, these campgrounds are all within a few miles of Bear Butte and the noise pollution of all four of these helicopters is going to be horrendous. The Speedway is almost four miles away and we can hear all the noise, when the car races are going on.

This helicopter issue has gotten completely out of control. Weather it is pure coincidence that all of a sudden three additional campgrounds are now offering helicopter rides, and they all got this brainstorm at once. Or, is this the typical show down of these venues, trying to compete and out do each other. Once one offers something, all the others have to jump onboard with the idea.

Take a look at this map and see for yourself all of the encroachment going on around the mountain.

For anyone possibly reading this, that may not be familiar with the ongoing struggle to protect bear butte, please visit our website at

In peace & solidarity,
Tamra Brennan
Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation

"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?"

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