Bear Butte pauses oil development

Nakota Energy LLC of Littleton, Colo. has temporarily halted its work to develop oil wells in the Bear Butte area while the South Dakota State Historical Society reviews the impacts on the national historic landmark.

Jay Vogt, director of the society said the company had failed to comply with a state law that requires projects seeking state permits that could affect historic properties to consult with the society. Bear Butte, a geologic uplift on the prairie northeast of Sturgis, is a sacred site to Native Americans and is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Nakota Energy had previously won approval from the state Board of Minerals and Environment to begin drilling wells within 1-½ miles of Bear Butte.

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