Rapid Creek runs through the Black Hills of Western South Dakota. The Black Hills, one of the western hemisphere’s geological marvels, is the birthplace of the Oceti Sakowin (the Great Sioux Nation), which encompasses the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota peoples, who deem the hills “The Heart of Everything That Is.” Now, Rapid Creek is threatened by another gold rush. Extractive industries are being allowed to explore for gold close to Rapid Creek. Such activity devastates sacred sites, fish, and wildlife habitat. It could also seriously impact the state’s second largest municipality, Rapid City, and Ellsworth Air Force Base, which get drinking water from Rapid Creek and its aquifers. The U.S. Forest Service must protect Rapid Creek’s irreplaceable resources by requiring a thorough landscape-scale analysis of mining’s potentially harmful impacts.
American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners: