Clean water activists kick off a petition drive Tuesday to make a watershed a recreation area.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Clean water activists want Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds and Representative Dusty Johnson to sponsor legislation to designate the Rapid Creek water shed west of Rapid City as a recreation area and to withdraw mineral claims in the area.
Justin Herreman, the spokesperson of the Rapid Creek Watershed Action, said it would protect the water supply for Rapid City and Box Elder as well as protect a Lakota cultural site.
He says 25 percent of this water shed has mining claims on it.
Herreman said it can also help the local economy. .... read more.
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.
Rapid City Journal: A group of clean water advocates and outdoor enthusiasts joined together Tuesday to announce their intention to get the Rapid Creek watershed west of Rapid City designated as a federally-recognized recreation area.
The group — Rapid Creek Watershed Action — made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday.
"Our purpose here today is to call on our federal representatives to legally designate the Rapid Creek Watershed upstream from Rapid City as a recreation area," group spokesperson Justin Herreman said. "Outdoor recreation is the main activity and a major economic driver in that area, and it should be protected by a congressional designation, as other similar areas are."