April 27, 2007, Newsletter Issue #45: Native American Land Restoration

Tip of the Week

One of the efforts the U.S. military has undertaken to clean up the environment includes restoration of the Badlands Bomb Range in South Dakota. This range was used at one time by the Air Force to train pilots and crewmembers in bombing techniques using live ammunition.

In the late 90s, an environmental restoration movement got underway to clear the range of unexploded ordinance--military lingo for bombs that didn't go off--and return thousands of acres to local Native Americans. The land originally belonged to Oglala Sioux tribe members until the 1940s, when the land was seized by the government.

Today, the former Badlands Bomb Range has been cleared of unexploded bombs and is useable for grazing-a far cry from the days when the only safe entry possible was with a team of bomb experts. There is an ongoing controversy regarding the use of depleted uranium rounds on the range, but with the proper attention, this issue can be resolved as well.

Green issues don't get resolved overnight. Any good environmental activist will tell you that cleanup and restoration takes time, but soon this parcel of land could be completely free from the past damage done.

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