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Can the Native Americans trust Rock Climbers on the Bears Ears NM?

NOTE: The rock climbing community has been particularly supportive of the proposed Bears Ears NM and met recently with Interior Secretary Jewell to offer their comments, noting that the area is “one of the most incredible recreation destinations in the U.S., with incredible climbing resources, in particular .”…/secretary-jewell-listens-t…

But have rock climbers always been supportive of efforts to honor Native American customs and traditions?

EXCERPT: “Today, hundreds of climbers scale the sheer rock walls of Devils Tower each summer…

“The Tower is sacred to several Plains tribes, including the Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa. Because of this, many Indian leaders objected to climbers ascending the monument, considering this to be a desecration. The climbers argued that they had a right to climb the Tower, since it is on federal land. A compromise was eventually reached with a voluntary climbing ban during the month of June when the tribes are conducting ceremonies around the monument. Climbers are asked, but not required, to stay off the Tower in June. According to the PBS documentary In the Light of Reverence, approximately 85% of climbers honor the ban and voluntarily choose not to climb the Tower during the month of June. However, several climbers along with the Mountain States Legal Foundation sued the Park Service, claiming an inappropriate government entanglement with religion.”

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