By Staff | on June 24, 2020
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today Health & Environmental Editor
RAPID CITY — Launching a Rapid Creek Watershed Action coalition June 16, members of the new local organization threw their weight behind tribal governments’ bids to rein in unfettered mining in the Black Hills.
The goal of Rapid Creek Watershed Action, or RCWA, is “to have the federally-controlled surface and subsurface lands within the Rapid Creek-Castle Creek Watershed upstream from Rapid City designated as a national recreation area and subject to a mineral claim withdrawal,” it announced.
The broad-based effort was initiated by a number of groups that invite others to join them by contacting them at their clearinghouse www.rapidcreekwatershed.org/
They are: Black Hills Clean Water Alliance; Black Hills Group, Sierra Club; Black Hills Paddlers; Clean Water Legacy; Dakota Rural Action; Black Hills Chapter Izaak Walton League; Rapid City Chapter NDN Collective; and Protect Pactola.
The Rapid Creek Watershed, or Mniluzahan Wakpa, is a significant native cultural resource at the headwaters of the Mississippi; it rises from the central Black Hills near the key Lakota sacred site of Pe’ Sla on tribal trust land.
The drainage is also important because it provides the water for South Dakota’s second-largest municipality of Rapid City, for the western state’s largest employer of Ellsworth Air Force Base, and for reservations, smaller communities, and agriculture along the creek that feeds into the Cheyenne and Missouri Rivers.... read more.