Devils Tower Voluntary June Closure: What are your thoughts?

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WyoRockMan

climber
Grizzlyville, WY
May 14, 2017 - 07:52am PT
In response, through the Climbing Management Plan, the NPS is protecting cultural resources, not closing Devils Tower for religious purposes.

Weather or not Devils Tower was historically a religious pilgrimage site it is considered sacred by more than one tribe and ceremonies take place at the tower throughout the year, weather you see them or not.

If the park service was concerned with the respecting sacred places according to the wishes of those who consider them sacred, the voluntary closure would be applicable to the whole monument. Not just the climbing. Seems to be a fine line the NPS is walking in terms of where the demarcation between cultural resources, religion and sacred collide.

According to the report "Ethnographic Overview and Assessment of Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming"[1], there were historically 23 tribes that could have passed through or used the area around Devils Tower. Of those, 6 had specific recent (1800’s) ties to the Tower. Only one has current ceremonies there in June.

The Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Crow, and Kiowa had creation stories (bears, kids, fantasy), but no specific documented modern usage.

The Shoshone, “this place is a major center of power and climbing on it is not only sacrilegious, but also dangerous to those who do not "respect" it. They felt that to protect climbers from any adverse effects. Climbing should be prohibited.” Stands at odds with many petroglyphs on large features which would require climbing to reach. But ok.

The Lakota, mentioned climbing as detrimental, but it was a second order issue. The chief complaint was not being able to shut down the road and keeping monument visitors away. Anything less than a return to sovereign land is a failure from the Lakota point of view. (A bit beyond the scope of this closure and discussion, since there is no realistic way to turn back the totality of Lakota real-estate claims.)

Native Americans are very private about their ceremonies and they are usually not visible to the general public.

Generalize much?

[1] http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/govdocs_nr/4/
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 14, 2017 - 08:00am PT
A HUGE giant sombrero is called for.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 14, 2017 - 09:03am PT
Ken it is voluntary. Should crags all over this country be closed to respect a certain culture. I bet every crag in this country was sacred to someone in the past why would this only happen in WY?


May 12, 2017 - 06:39pm PT
Ken, you would support a 100% ban?? Devil's Tower is one of America's premier climbing destinations. Your proposal is a bit reckless.

A lot of people seem to have a reading comprehension. They confuse the word "voluntary" with the word "optional".

It is not optional. It represents the same thing that is involved when I sell you something, and you go to get your wallet, and I never see you again:
INTEGRITY.

Or you volunteer to help at a hospital, then don't show up.

It is a demonstration of honesty, of where you stand with your word.

You don't show up for your volunteer assignment, you won't be given the opportunity again. There is a consequence.

In this situation, there was a problem, a conflict. A solution was negotiated in good faith, based upon the word of climbers. Now, apparently, climbers want to argue that the word of their community is worth nothing, and they'll do what they like.

Ok, but not without consequences.

They tried it the easy way, now some in the community want to try it the hard way. They delight in the concept of the gov't having to spend scarce resources on their misbehavior. They don't care if other's climbing is impacted by their refusal to go by the community's agreement. They got theirs, F*#K YOU.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 14, 2017 - 09:07am PT
Climb there a lot do you, Ken?

Jaybro, the original question asked for input. If that's your attitude, stop posting opinions on anything outside of Wyo.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 14, 2017 - 09:17am PT
Ken, if you are against people climbing think about the flip side.

I am not against people climbing. I am for it. The pathway to that, is to keep their word in a multicultural pact. If they are not willing to do that, I'm ok with a ban.

But I think it would be a terrible shame for that to be required, and a real failure of the climbing community.

I think we want to be respected and trusted. That is a currency that is easily lost, and difficult to regain.

I'm grateful that the NPS and Indian Nations allowed this to happen, and kept their side of the bargain over the decades.

This is so laughable coming from Ken M. His lack of knowledge and bigoted nature towards Native Americans is well known. Ken, you told us all last week you didn't recognize American Indian tribes as sovereign nations, even though many of them legally are and have been, not for decades but going on nearly two centuries.

And what bargain do ye speak of? Tell us. Do you even know anything of Devil's Tower?

Arne

Arne, I don't know what bigoted smack you're smoking, but your unwillingness to discuss the issue, instead of just personally attacking me, says about all anyone needs to know about your concepts of ethics.
My recent invitation to join American University of Sovereign Nations as a Professor should probably indicate that my *questions* about the relationship of Indian Tribes in relationship to the US, generates interest, not hostility, among tribal members.

What bargain? Are you not reading the post that started this thread?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 14, 2017 - 10:12am PT
I support it. The entire Black Hills was stolen from the Lakota. The Supreme Court said so, and awarded them a big chunk of change. They refused payment. They want the land back.

We must be aware of the needs and opinions of those who got screwed over and over.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 14, 2017 - 02:53pm PT
Ken. there is a very good chance that where ever you live used to be owned by first nation peoples. since you are such a good person I think you should give your house and land back to them...
gunsmoke

Mountain climber
Clackamas, Oregon
May 14, 2017 - 07:55pm PT
Part of what makes the June closure painful is that it's by far the best month to climb the Tower for those whose lives revolve around the American school calendar (i.e., you have kids). By July it's cookin' hot, and the classic routes are on the south side in full sun. How did June get chosen as the sacred month?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 14, 2017 - 08:11pm PT
Just another way for the whites to sh#t on the indians, but find a way to justify it:


As Trump’s interior secretary enters the fight over Utah’s Bears Ears, natives feel unheard

The fate of the national monument has pitted Native Americans from across three states, who want to preserve artifacts and sacred lands, against white residents and cleaved a rural Utah community. Although Ryan Zinke said he tried to hear all sides, conservationists wonder whether the administration has already betrayed its intent.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 14, 2017 - 08:16pm PT
Ken, when you're in a hole, first step is to stop digging, bro.

Which you might do, when you are wrong.

The AGREEMENT was voluntary. The action agreed to in the agreement, was to not climb.

Climbers stated, voluntarily, that "I will not climb in the month of June"

It is only your word, your honesty, your integrity, which enforces what you have said you would do as a community. You INSISTED that you could self-regulate, "after all, aren't we all adults?"

We'll see.

Ken. there is a very good chance that where ever you live used to be owned by first nation peoples. since you are such a good person I think you should give your house and land back to them...

I'm happy to talk about Los Angeles. But the fact that you want to talk about that, and not about DT, makes me think that you've already conceded to my argument, and want to move on.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
May 14, 2017 - 11:20pm PT
Seems fitting
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1806256/The-Devils-Tower-Climbing-History

For most, the school year ends in May or early June, making for a large crop of ' climbers looking to climb.
and a lot of Guides & services capitalize on the crop. The tower is a draw due to all the obvious reasons.

Back in the day, heading to the Tower ( & West in general) in June , was a regular climbing pilgrimage, Southern climbers also took part looking for cool Mnt states.
We would all meet up at That Plug of rock in the prairie, and make loose plans to go on to the
V Voo, Fremont canyon or ? . , . . . The Newst must hit climbing area.as well as sometimes the closer by venues like The Rushmore area & South Dakota Needles, before heading to Colorado ,Utah , The Winds /Jackson Hole or ) California, to Climb, yes also went and danced to a certain Band, it was, for those five years or so, a Religious Experience. With regular full moon celabration

Watching storms roll in as dusk fell - and then catching the amazing light show as lightening
Flashed draping the Tower in spooky pinks and purple hues, was one of those Religious events that have stayed with me making the Tower Sacred To Me.
I collected small pebbles ( every where I climbed) at the Tower these had a perfectly flat side, 'star rocks' things that may have been soft from burning through the atmosphere as they struck the sides around the Tower.

The place is magic.

EDIT :
I was greatly received by the likes of Paul Mehue, and Dingus McGee !
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 15, 2017 - 02:23am PT
Climb there a lot do you, Ken?

Jaybro, the original question asked for input. If that's your attitude, stop posting opinions on anything outside of Wyo.

I'll take that as a "no".
Rant on in ignorance
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 15, 2017 - 03:11am PT
Ken. I dont really give a hoot about LA. fact is where ever you try to live in north america you are liveing on land that wass stolen from somebody. Since you are such a do gooder you should give YOUR home back to whome ever the land it sits on was stolen from or STFU... Meanwhile i will continue to treat the tower as a holy place and try to climb it once every 20 years or so to honor that.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
May 15, 2017 - 04:07am PT
Ken M,

The AGREEMENT was voluntary. The action agreed to in the agreement, was to not climb.

Climbers stated, voluntarily, that "I will not climb in the month of June"

From what you have said it seems you do not know much of what went on at DETO during that part of the management plan and you are flatly wrong on how the word voluntary came about. We climbers never stated such an utterance.

There was never an agreement [like you suggest] reached with climbers and the Park administration. The admin had a list of several climbing management alternatives and said they were going with the voluntary closure, but that anyone could climb. Then they prohibited guided climbing in June and that is where Andy Petefish comes into play. I pointed out to him the case of Badoni and he then rounded up a high profile case law attorney pro bono.

Of the 804 unanimous letters against closing the tower in June to climbing[ from climbers?] during the comment period mine was number one. My letter stated that by law from the case of Badoni v. Higginson it would be illegal to close the tower to climbing for religious reasons. They tried to tell the climbing group this ruling did not apply to National Monuments and they used many other scapegoat tactics.

Up until I pointed this case law out to the Park Service we climbers had no known bargaining power against the Park Service. So to speak this case law paved our street to go where we wanted. After I firmly pointed this out to them and so did Lawyer Charley Anderson the park service dropped their one plan of a mandatory closure and inserted the word voluntary to one of their alternatives.

Petefish's attorney & case also challenged in a 2nd case circa 1999 the use of the word "voluntary". Judge Dowes ruled that the Park Service could call their closure whatever they wanted but they could not ever close climbing on the Tower for religious reasons. Petefish did win the right to guide in June.

see:

https://www.justice.gov/osg/brief/bear-lodge-v-babbitt-opposition

There was never any consensus among climbers for the closure as you suggest and do take note that a string of 804 letters were unanimously against the closure before any support of such a closure was penned to DETO as comment during the comment period.



Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
May 15, 2017 - 05:35am PT
ekat,

Thanks,

one wonders, are those that forget history condemned to repeat it?
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 15, 2017 - 05:45am PT
Thanks for your work on that issue Dingus, without the effort to stop the NPS Trumped up religious closures would be as common as bird closures (which I support)
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
May 15, 2017 - 06:06am PT
Climbers stated, voluntarily, that "I will not climb in the month of June"

I'm a climber. I don't remember saying that, or appointing anyone to speak on my behalf.

Only made one trip to the tower to climb, and it wasn't in June. Very awesome, but we did wind up sliding off an icy I-25 and rolling the car on the way back to Ft. Collins. So maybe the offended spirits got their revenge.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 15, 2017 - 07:30am PT
I'm thinking of Lucy, of "Peanuts", volunteering to hold the football.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 15, 2017 - 07:33am PT
LittleZ,

So you are advocating, that if you are not from an area, a visitor, you are under no obligation to respect the hard-won agreements that locals might have worked out, to prevent more onerous restrictions? After all, it doesn't affect YOU, it only affects those who are local, when things go wrong?
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
May 15, 2017 - 07:43am PT
It's one month, people.
Messages 41 - 60 of total 175 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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