|By Tommy Layback |
From Sheridan, WY
Jun 16, 2012
With absolute sincere respect for dissenting opinions I submit the following for consideration:
Indeed the June voluntary closure is in effect; however, from what I have gathered this is another example of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. As a somewhat regular Devils Tower climber, I have spoken at length with DT climbing rangers and Native Americans visiting the Tower. All Native Americans that I have spoken with claim that they don't care if people climb the tower and they respect clean climbers and the dedication/effort they spend to climb the Tower. Climbing rangers have echoed this indicating that few Native Americans visit the Tower in June and those that do overwhelmingly claim they don't care if people climb the Tower.
Additionally, Frank Sanders, DT climbing icon and guide, has created a foundation called "Sacred to Many" that provides financial support for the Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation. In my opinion, if one truly has compassion for Native peoples and wants to correct the evils of past white Americans, I believe there are much better ways of doing so than not climbing on the Tower in June. Give them your time and/or money for constructive healing.
And MTKirk - PM sent!