Devils Tower Asks Climbers to Stay Off During June to Respect Natives
Wyoming's Devils Tower protrudes out of the rolling prairie that surrounds the Black Hills. The place is considered sacred by the Lakota and other Indian nations that have a connection to the area. It's also an extremely popular site for rock climbers. Devils Tower is American's first national monument, created by President Theodore Roosevelt under the Antiquities Act in 1906.
For the month of June, Devils Tower National Monument National Park Service staff are asking climbers to avoid the monument. The monument has implemented a voluntary climbing ban each June since 1996 out of respect for Native Americans. Important indigenous ceremonies are held there during June.
"We’re trying to be respectful of the Indian ceremonies,” park spokesperson Nancy Stimson told Wyoming Public Media, adding that recreational activities on the rock formation are considered a desecration. Stimson says that typically, 85 percent of climbers respect the voluntary ban.