BEAR LODGE MULTIPLE USE ASSOCIATION v. LIGGETT Devils Tower is OPEN to Rock Climbing, as it has been all along, despite the most current decision by the Supreme Court not to hear the Lawsuit petitioned to them regarding reversing the so called "Voluntary Closure". The court has decided not to hear the suit since there is no "real" closure to climbing at the Tower. Members of our group and several others proved in June of 1996 that the Tower cannot be closed to climbing out of respect for religion whether it be Indian or any other, and we have not looked back since. The case we put before the Supreme Court was to challenge the so called "Voluntary Closure", which means nothing & doesn't restrict any "real" access to the Tower what so ever. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and now the Supreme Court has found that there is no "real" closure at Devils Tower, and hence no lawsuit with standing ~ so climb on! The Tower is totally open to climbing..... BOTTOM LINE 1. The NPS, Access Fund, and Indians cannot close the Tower to climbing no matter how hard they try until they change the First Amendment. Just review the June 96 decision. 2. Devils Tower is open to rock climbing year around, so don't listen to the continued lies & deceptive confusing rhetoric of the Access Fund, NPS, Liberal Media, and Indians that are trying to create a FALSE closure by telling the general public and average visitor that there is a closure. 3. Climb in June as much as you can, and never support the Access Fund ~ They have tried, and are continuing to try, to close climbing areas, but couldn't at Devils Tower. The Access Fund Representatives that negotiated on behalf of the climbers during the planning stage of Climbing Management Plan agreed to close the Tower to climbing. 4. No harm will come to you, nor will any of your personal property be harmed if you choose to climb. Furthermore, your act to choose to climb cannot be used to restrict climbing access more at the Tower. The stories of people being harassed and having personal property damaged by Indians and White Indian Sympathizers are simply not true. Devils Tower, Wyoming (less than 2 square miles of Federal Land completely surrounded by large acreage white land owners) is located in the Black Hills hundreds of miles from the nearest Indian Reservation, and the local community and services they provide are indifferent to the Indian Affirmative Action Policy of the NPS and Access Fund. WHAT'S NEXT 1. Force the Government's hand by trying to make them make the closure mandatory because too many people are climbing. TOLERANCE not SEGREGATION The Access Fund, NPS, & Indians try to close Devils Tower, but can't ... and end up more frustrated than a Horny Bull! In fact, frustrated enough to lie to the general public consistently in order to propagate their false closure to the general public through their own publications and the liberal media to create a FALSE closure since a real one is ILLEGAL! Don't listen to their lies any longer. Devils Tower is open to climbing and all white people in June and any other month of the year whether they are climbing or bird watching. Regardless of what the Whimpy, Spineless, Weak, Cowardice, Brown Nosing, PC Access Fund, Bullish NPS, or Intolerant Indians may try to make you believe about their completely fabricated psychosomatic self induced rock climbing closure, with NO force of law behind it, at Devils Tower... there is NO Closure what so ever at Devils Tower as ... RULED BY FEDERAL JUDGES on April 26th, 1999 at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. DEVILS TOWER IS OPEN TO ROCK CLIMBING IN JUNE!!! Less than 40 Indians visited Devils Tower for Religious Reasons in June of 1998, and none did in June of 1999! Fakes & Trouble Makers????? What's up with that? Sacred or Bullshit??? Climb Devils Tower in June and don't support the Access Fund's devious efforts to close climbing at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming. June is the best time of year to climb at Devils Tower and it is totally open! ...AND ACCESS TO DEVILS TOWER IN JUNE, OR ANY OTHER TIME, CANNOT BE DENIED BY THE NPS OR ACCESS FUND! ... AS RULED BY A FEDERAL JUDGE on June 8th, 1996. DEVILS TOWER is open in JUNE, and any ACCESS CLOSURE IS ILLEGAL, VIOLATES YOUR RIGHTS, CAN'T BE ALLOWED, and the ACCESS FUND Should Stop Trying to Close Access to the Tower by Buffaloing the general public with a fake closure! Access to Devils Tower can never be denied for Religious Reasons as ruled by a Federal Judge. The coercive "voluntary" June Access Closure at Devils Tower National Monument to tax-paying Americans out of respect for Land Based Religious Practitioners clearly violates the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution and Devils Tower National Monument's own Management Policies . National Park Service (NPS) closure to, or restriction of, otherwise normal and legally legitimate activities on PUBLIC LAND out of respect for any land based religion, or land based religious practitioners, forces non-believing American Citizens, by act, to adopt the religion for which the restrictions or closures are being implemented. This Federal Action, by DEVILS TOWER NATIONAL MONUMENT, on PUBLIC LAND blatantly violates the highest law in the land, and thus your Constitutional Freedoms! Friends of Devils Tower is not trying to force anyone to climb or access Devils Tower. Our goal is to protect the individual's right to choose one's religion, without coercion by the National Park Service and/or the Access Fund, as given by the First Amendment. We defend our inalienable right to access Devils Tower in June, or any other time, freely, and without fear that our choice to access the Tower now will lead to a mandatory, lengthened, or total access closure (as threatened by the NPS and supported by the Access Fund) at any time in the future because such access is offensive to a particular religious group. Rock climbing has always been a voluntary activity at Devils Tower. It has never been mandatory for anyone to climb on or access the Tower. No one, or group, is advocating that Land Based Religious Practitioners must climb on or access the Tower against their faith or belief that such an act is sacrilegious or a desecration. No climber, or climbing group, is advocating that Land Based Religious Practitioners pack up their belongings and hit the road or be denied access to the Tower. Even the notion of such an arrogant and selfish act on public land is beyond reproach for climbers and the rest of the general tax paying public visiting Devils Tower. But yet, Land Based Religious Practitioners are demanding that rock climbers put their rock shoes, rack, and ropes in their packs and hit the road not only for the month of June but all the time. Furthermore, Land Based Religious Practitioners are advocating that nonclimbing visitors to Devils Tower do the same. Friends of Devils Tower has never held, supported, advocated, or maintained a "screw you" attitude toward Land Based Religious Practitioners as claimed by Devils Tower Climbing Prohibition Advocate and Access Fund President Sally Moser in the June 97 issue of Outside Magazine . Such claims by Access Fund President Moser and others simply are not true. Contrary to Access Fund President Moser's, and Outsides claims, Friends of Devils Tower fully supports Land Based Religious Practitioners Free Exercise Rights at Devils Tower National Monument and on other Public Lands but only to the point that their Free Exercise does not supersede the fundamental limits of the Establishment Clause. The so called "voluntary closure" to public access at Devils Tower violates the Establishment Clause as ruled by a Federal Judge on June 8th, 1996 because it coerces compliance. The Access Funds unwarranted attack of Friends of Devils Tower lies in the fact that they are trying to defend the poor choice they made during the formulation of the climbing management plan to sell out the constitutional freedoms of its members and others by fashioning, negotiating, and supporting the illegal but politically correct climbing prohibition at Devils Tower National Monument. The Access Funds attempt to create a climbing management plan to close public access at Devils Tower is unacceptable to Friends of Devils Tower. In fact, many members of Friends of Devils Tower that were members of the Access Fund view their actions as treason. The Access Fund should be protecting and defending access to public lands for climbers and others, not fighting to stop it and proselytizing Land Based Religion. Any access loss to public land is a tragedy, but public access loss for religious reasons sets a very dangerous precedent that the founding fathers of freest country in the world fully realized. Such illegal access closures like the one at Devils Tower will only lead to more and longer access closures to other public lands. The Access Funds actions at Devils Tower has led to the Cave Rock Nevada Access Closure and others being considered now at the South Dakota Needles, Red Rocks Nevada, and Hueco Tanks Texas. If not for Mountain States Legal Foundation and a handful local climbers, ranchers, loggers, and other brave Americans, Access to Devils Tower would be a thing of the past today. Please help us keep Devils Tower Free for all Americans including Land Based Religious Practitioners. R ock C limbing, hiking, or just being, are legally legitimate activities allowed on PUBLIC LANDS at Devils Tower National Monument and in no way prohibit the free exercise of any religion. Any illegal closure implemented by the Federal Government, for even one minute, let alone one month, is unacceptable, and if allowed will only lead to longer closures and eventually the inevitable prohibition of all ACCESS, all the time, at Devils Tower and on many other public lands. Land Based Religious Practitioners have NEVER wanted climbers or anyone else but themselves on the PUBLIC LAND at Devils Tower. So how can all the Closure Sympathizers and Observers be so insensitive and hypocritical toward the true wants and desires of Land Based Religious Practitioners by thinking that by not climbing only in June they are truly respecting them and their religious practices? The truth, and bottom line, is that Land Based Religious Practitioners don't want climbing or any other human activity, but theirs, at Devils Tower at any time. They are not happy with the token one month temporary closure to HUMANS, and they have made it clear that their ultimate goal is the complete prohibition of all Human Activity, but theirs, at Devils Tower and on many other PUBLIC LANDS. Small insight into the true goals and manipulations of Land Based Religious Practitioners, being used by Environmentalists and the NPS, to drive tax paying Americans from National Parks and other Public Lands can be found here in several quotes. The first from Francis Brown, President for the Medicine Wheel Coalition for Sacred Sites of North America, who wants to prohibit all public access, but that of land based religious practitioners, to Devils Tower and countless other sites in North America: "Our plan is to shut the climbing down, slowly if that is what it takes." L.A. Times "The goal of this meeting should be no climbing for one month on the tower when ceremonies could take place. The ultimate goal should be no climbing at all on the tower." Land Based Religious Practitioner, 3/29-30, 1996; Rapid City, SD (NPS Consultation Meeting) "Native Americans will never give up the fight for the Black Hills." Land Based Religious Practitioner, 3/29-30, 1996; Rapid City, SD (NPS Consultation Meeting) " Human Beings climb the tower and interfere with its natural state." Land Based Religious Practitioner, 3/29-30, 1996; Rapid City, SD (NPS Consultation Meeting) " ..the stake ladder to Native Americans is intrusive to the sacred site. Doesn't the ladder designation contradict the fact that American Indians want to stop climbing on the tower?" Land Based Religious Practitioner, 3/29-30, 1996; Rapid City, SD (NPS Consultation Meeting) "Native Americans today could be in Washington with a bill asking for no climbing at the tower." Land Based Religious Practitioner, 3/29-30, 1996; Rapid City, SD (NPS Consultation Meeting) These quotes reveal the true intent of Land Based Religious Practitioners, being used by the NPS and Environmentalists, to stop access at Devils Tower not only for one month, but all the time! Once they get their "foot in the door", they know there will be no stopping them from closing access altogether, not only at Devils Tower, but on countless other public lands. The mere presence of Humans on Public Land, whether they are climbing, hiking, bird watching, or just being, in no way prohibits the free exercise of Land Based Religion by anyone. Ask yourself, in what way do the actions, or mere presence, of climbers and other visitors at Devils Tower PROHIBIT the free exercise of Land Based Religious Practitioners? They don't. Land Based Religious Practitioners being USED by, or in partnership with, Environmentalists have long sought to gain some exception to the First Amendment knowing full well the "de facto" land ownership benefits they would derive, without tax burden, to control use of public lands if it were granted. Fortunately, the Courts and Congress have recognized their manipulative tactics and have upheld the First Amendment without change. An exception to the First Amendment for Land Based Religious Practitioners would only lead to the eventual loss of their own Religious Freedom. The First Amendment works only because it applies to all Americans and to all Americans alike regardless of ethnic background or cultural origin. The ACCESS FUND has sold out the Civil Liberties of its members, nonmember climbers, and other Americans by negotiating and supporting a climbing policy which they know is coercive and violates the First Amendment. If the Access Fund will not fight an access closure that is blatantly illegal and violates its members Civil Rights, then they clearly cannot, or most likely will not, fight any illegal access closure. This "Sell Out" by the Access Fund for Political Reasons or their cowardice that they may make the climbing community a "Pariah" sets a dangerous precedent for all Public Land Users in America, not just Access Fund members and other climbers. We are fortunate that the Founding Fathers and other Americans in the past have not been as fearful and easy to scare as the Access Fund. [Back] Supporting Religion is what they really do! Not Defending Access... The Access Fund maintains, in their newsletter and "Position Statement", that they have worked to strike a compromise between Land Based Religious Practitioners while protecting the freedoms guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution. The compromise (the coercive voluntary access closure) negotiated and supported by the Access Fund DOES VIOLATE the FREEDOMS guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution. There can be no group or government implemented compromise to respect or observe, by the act of not accessing public land to perform otherwise legal activities which do not prohibit the free exercise of religion, Land Based Religion and its Practitioners that does not violate the INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution. The statement by the Access Fund that they have worked to strike a compromise between Land Based Religious Practitioners while protecting the freedoms guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution is an oxymoron or "double speak". A group or government can not compromise individual inalienable rights, like the "freedom of religion", without violating the individual's freedom. For deciding whether or not to access public land for religious reasons to remain a free and uncoerced choice or decision, as protected by the U.S. Constitution, it must remain an individual choice, not a choice made and coerced by the Federal Government, Access Fund, or any other group. In short, the Access Fund's negotiation and continued (as of Winter 97 Access Newsletter) support of the coercive "voluntary closure" at Devils Tower does violate the freedoms guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution, and they have done nothing to rectify the infringement their actions have on the liberty of its members, nonmembers, and other Americans. Contrary to the Access Funds claim, or confusion tactic, that they negotiated a noncoercive Voluntary Closure, there is only one "Voluntary Closure" in the Devils Tower Final Climbing Mangement Plan, and thus, in reality, only one "Voluntary Closure" to support. The only "Voluntary Closure" that exists is coercive as ruled by a Federal Judge on June 8th, 1997 in Bear Lodge v. Babbitt because it threatens Mandatory Closure if the Voluntary Closure is not successful ~ success defined as no one climbs. The Access Funds position of support for the illegal "voluntary closure" clearly equates to nothing more than the proselytizing of Land Based Religion. Ask yourself, shouldn't the Access Fund be PROTECTING ACCESS rather than PROSELYTIZING LAND BASED RELIGION? The Access Fund's support and negotiation of the coercive "voluntary" closure, or as they would say "gesture of respect toward Land Based Religious Practitioners" is an action which they have no right to support or negotiate on behalf of any individual let alone the entire climbing community, and they cannot do so with out violating the freedoms guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution. Hence, their position statement on the Devils Tower Access Closure and Lawsuit contradicts itself and is nothing more than an oxymoron. The Access Fund cites in their Fall 96 Newsletter as many excuses for not defending its members and nonmembers First Amendment Rights as a beach has grains of sand. Among their many excuses, they state that they don't believe the "voluntary closure" violates the First Amendment Rights of American Citizens and their members even though the NPS's only "voluntary closure" compliance mechanism is strongly threatening a Mandatory Closure will occur if the "voluntary closure" does not work. (i.e. For the voluntary closure to work, no one climbs.) In short, the NPS's and Access Fund's "voluntary closure" has no teeth without the authoritative threat of a mandatory closure if the "voluntary" one is not complied with. The High Courts have long held, and as is given here, that "Consent given only in acquiescence to a claim of lawful authority (NPS in this case) is not free and voluntary, U.S. v. Morales ." The numerous excuses the Access Fund has for not defending its members, nonmembers, and other Americans Constitutional Freedoms do not, and can never, justify their support for an illegal Access Closure at Devils Tower or elsewhere. During the last decade, the Access Fund has clearly shown Federal Land Managers that they are nothing but "Pushovers" who will negotiate everything, including your nonnegotiable First Amendment Freedoms, and stand for nothing, and the Feds are using them as such. Again, Friends of Devils Tower is not trying to force anyone to climb or access Devils Tower. Our goal is to protect the individual's right to choose one's religion, without coercion by the National Park Service and/or the Access Fund, as given by the First Amendment. We defend our inalienable right to access Devils Tower in June, or any other time, freely, and without fear that our choice to access the Tower now will lead to a mandatory, lengthened, or total access closure (as threatened by the NPS and supported by the Access Fund) at any time in the future because such access is offensive to a particular religious group. NOT ANY MORE!!! Climb On! Thanks to MSLF If not for Mountain States Legal Foundation and a few local climbers, ranchers, loggers, and other brave Americans, Access to Devils Tower would be a thing of the past today. Please help us keep Devils Tower Free for all Americans including Land Based Religious Practitioners. First Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [Back] National Park Service Management Policies Performance of a traditional ceremony or the conduct of a religious activity at a particular place shall not form the basis for prohibiting others from using such areas. Native American Relationships Management Policy, Final Management Policy, National Park Service. [Back] FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO OUR HOME PAGE. DEVILS TOWER IS OPEN TO ROCK CLIMBING IN JUNE!!! 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