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Gift Preserves Access to Prayer Site

Society & Culture  (tags: Indians, American Indians, Native Americans, BLM, Religion, Spirituality, culture, society, ethics, freedoms, GoodNews, humans, interesting, news, rights )

- 3450 days ago -
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A Billings woman requesting anonymity has bought 615 acres south of Bridger and donated the property to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. With the gift, access to a popular area called Weatherman Draw is under government...

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kat yazzie (400)
Monday January 5, 2009, 12:40 pm

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) A Billings woman requesting anonymity has bought 615 acres south of Bridger and donated the property to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

With the gift, access to a popular area called Weatherman Draw is under government control. The previous owner of the land had allowed people to cross it so they could reach Weatherman Draw, and had listed the property for sale at $185,000. Some access advocates worried a buyer would put the land off limits to the public.

Weatherman Draw, also called Valley of the Shields, holds special significance for several American Indian tribes. Some of their members have gathered there for prayer. Weatherman Draw is know for sandstone cliffs featuring historic pictographs and petroglyphs.

The land was bought from Rodney Crosby of Crowley, Wyo. Jim Sparks, manager of the BLM's Billings Area Field Office, described the benefactor as a person of modest means.

Land's significance prompted owner to put it into protection

Sparks said a buy-sell agreement was signed in May, and details for the BLM's acquisition of the land were worked out in the ensuing months. The deal closed on Tuesday, he said.

BLM real estate specialist Tom Carroll in Billings said Crosby "had an opportunity to sell this parcel of land and could have. But once he understood how critical this was, he backed off, then the buyer backed off."

In years past, talk of possible oil and gas drilling raised concern about the future of Weatherman Draw. In 2002, Anschutz Exploration Corp. transferred its mineral leases to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The BLM has designated the place an area of critical environmental concern, a designation that also will apply to the land just acquired, Sparks said.

Past Member (0)
Monday January 5, 2009, 1:03 pm
Noted thanks Kat.

Lone W (1428)
Monday January 5, 2009, 1:20 pm

Pamylle G (461)
Monday January 5, 2009, 1:24 pm
I'm glad of this donation which facilitates access to this site. I would have felt better if it were donated directly to one of the nations.

. (0)
Monday January 5, 2009, 1:27 pm
noted thank you

Sheryl G (360)
Monday January 5, 2009, 1:27 pm
I hope this is the right agency to put in charge of this land, at least for now it seems safer than if it went to a private person that would not allow access. Let us hope BLM continues to do right with this land.

Sheryl G (360)
Monday January 5, 2009, 1:28 pm
Oh yes, and what a wonderful thing for that person of "modest means" to do. May the Great Spirit bless them for their kind and noble act.

Henry P (171)
Monday January 5, 2009, 4:50 pm
noted Thanks Kat

. (0)
Monday January 5, 2009, 5:22 pm
Thanks Kat but they need to keep there eyes wide open to BLM for they are not to be trusted. Hugs

Sandra M Z (114)
Monday January 5, 2009, 9:55 pm
I hope the BLM will protect this land from themselves, as they have already OK'd opening up Mmuch more land for new drilling in Montana. This is good news today!

Noted, thank you Kat.

Madeleine L (51)
Monday January 5, 2009, 10:39 pm
The BLM is in the pocket of the Bush Cheney government, as has been demonstrated so very often on this site. "Management " of buffalo means killing 1600 of them last year!! Half the herd of the last wild buffalo in the world. They are also slaughtering wild horses or putting them in privately owned "facilities" which are not described to the public (just when I thought that these creatures were safe), the White House unconstitutionally interfered to get what it wanted which includes Uranium mining and oil/gas on public lands,"leasing" of public lands at less than upkeep prices, allowing the lumber industry back into the NorthWest Primal forests, and so on..... They are the last people that I would trust to keep Sacred Ground for First Nations, especially since they are pushing hard to allow Uranium mining around the Grand Canyon which would poison the land and the river, as well as two reserves in or near the Canyon, and everyone downriver!!! This has already been done to the Sioux Nations in the Black Hills. The only good news would be if your President-elect reverses all these "White house" driven decisions AS SOON as he is sworn-in. He may not even be aware of the abomidable extent of the damage already done and set up to be done by the present administration! We in Canada face the same sort of 'hidden' agenda government by a Prime Minister that Bush has nicknamed 'Stevie'... There are presently 14 lakes that are going to be turned over to mines to fill with tailings. I grew up near 3 such lakes, which we kids called the 'Slimes'. They were solid, as long as you didn't stay in the same place too long. They contained endless poisons, which we were exposed to. There is a company, I was told when I visited this year, that was "reclaiming" the lakes by processing all the chemicals and removing the sludge. HAH!! hardly likely. We are all in a serious mess, and it looks as though the BushCheney regime will succeed in many of their 'ventures' before they have to give it up (or have they found a way to control it in spite of Obama?)... I would put nothing past them, considering that V.P. Cheney and his company Haliburton have amassed huge wealth during this administration and will continue to do so since the "war" in Iraq is not about to end soon. Pardon my cynicism, but I have been watching this happen for decades, including the bust on Wall Street, the money thrown at them to bail them out, now the big Car Companies in your country and in Mine getting bail-outs that even the workers say will just fill pockets high up and jobs will still be lost. (no oversight) Where are all the Auditors???? I am truly worried about what the future holds for my now grown children and their children, if they ever change their minds and decide to have any....
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