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Contact: Nancy Stimson, 307 467 5283
A voluntary closure for climbing at Devils Tower will be in effect through the month of June. Climbers are strongly encouraged to refrain from climbing on the Tower June 1 -30 out of respect for the spiritual and cultural significance of the Tower to American Indian tribes. This voluntary closure was an agreement reached during the development of the monument’s Climbing Management Plan by a work group that included representatives from American Indian tribes and climbing organizations.
Over twenty American Indian Tribes consider Devils Tower a sacred place in the Black Hills. Activities and ceremonies occur in the Monument throughout the year; however the month of June is an especially significant time for traditional tribal ceremonial expression. Climbers are asked to consider tribal perspectives and asked to climb during June at other climbing sites in the area such as the Mt. Rushmore Needles, Custer State Park Needles and Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota, and Tensleep Canyon and Tongue River Canyon in Wyoming.
The final 1995 Climbing Management Plan for the Monument established this annual voluntary closure for all climbing routes as a way to balance the cultural and spiritual importance of the feature to American Indian tribes with its history as a unique and world class rock climbing destination. The Access Fund, a nonprofit organization working to maintain access to climbing areas and protect the climbing environment, fully supports the voluntary climbing closure as a way to balance these interests and maintain. Most climbers choose not to climb the Tower during June.
To learn more about Devils Tower National Monument visit www.nps.gov/deto or www.facebook.com/Devils-Tower-National-Monument-Official-NPS-Site or twitter.com@DevilsTowerNM or Instagram at #devilstowernps
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks system and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/nationalparkservice, and You Tube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservce.