The District Court ruled, and the Court of Appeals upheld the decision to allow the voluntary climbing ban because it is not in violation of the Establishment Clause. The petitioners had not shown injury, and therefore the FCMP was a suitable measure to protect Native American religious and cultural interests while accommodating those of rock climbers. The Native American tribes had support from many advocacy groups including the Native American Rights Fund, The Becket Fund, Medicine Wheel Coalition on Sacred Sites of North America, and the Group of Concerned Scholars, all of which helped defend their interests and protect their sacred site. Although the courts' decisions were in favor of the tribes, some members of the tribes are still distressed that Devils Tower is used for recreational purposes at all. Even though this case is closed, the dispute is not resolved in that neither party is entirely satisfied since their deep-rooted interests still conflict, and always will. The result of the cases was an improvement in the eyes of the tribes and a relatively small burden in the eyes of most rock climbers; thus I think it is unlikely that the case will reopen unless the NPS revises their management plan to include much more stringent rock climbing regulatory measures.
This case study, as a conflict over the public's use of a Native American sacred site and the constitutionality of a measure that affects the ease with which the Native Americans can practice their religion, is connected to many others, both historic and current. As previously referenced, an important case was Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetary Protective Association. Other cases of interest are the Access Fund (Cave Rock) case and the Arizona Snowbowl case. Numerous other case studies dealing with sacred land can be found at http://www.sacredland.org/sacred_lands.html.
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