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Debate simmers over name of Devils Tower monument | KTIC Radio

Debate simmers over name of Devils Tower monument

Debate simmers over name of Devils Tower monument
This undated image provided by Egret Communications via the National Park Service shows visitors walking towards the base of Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Every year, about 400,000 people visit Devils Tower. The visually jarring monolith that rises above the gentle hills, valley farmland and nearby prairie dog town is sacred to many American Indians and is a mecca of sorts to climbers. (AP Photo/National Park Service)

President Theodore Roosevelt designated a rock column in northeast Wyoming the nation’s first national monument on Sept. 24, 1906.

When he did so, he signed a proclamation that inadvertently left out a punctuation mark and what was supposed to be Devil’s Tower National Monument became Devils Tower National Monument instead.

Today, 110 years after that rocky start, the tower’s name remains an issue for some who contend it isn’t befitting of the tower’s religious significance to local American Indians.

Great Sioux nation spiritual leader Arvol Looking Horse has petitioned to change the name of the geologic feature to Bear Lodge and the name of the monument to Bear Lodge National Monument.

But opponents of changing the name say it’s unnecessary and would only cause confusion and hurt tourism.

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