Tribal members experienced emotional, cultural, and economic impacts and losses from dislocation and restricted access to their land during the Gunnery Range years, from the continuing fear of exploding ordnance, and from the damage to their land and vegetation. The safety concerts of spent and live ammunition found in the surface soils have prevented farming the land and free access to religious and culturally significant sites. The unchecked erosion on the Gunnery Range has resulted in sediment loading into the Cheyenne and Missouri Rivers, loss of riparian habitat, damage to the composition of native grasses, and loss and i mpaired growth of native plants that are used in cultural and religious ceremonies and for medicinal practices.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Range Units
The mitigation actions for the Gunnery Range activities are estimated to cost $173 million and are scheduled for completion over ten years. Work to mitigate the impacts includes munitions removal, environmental restoration and monitoring, economic compensation and cultural restoration. Removal of munitions from the tillable land, cultural sites and the area of overlap of the Bombing Range onto the Gunnery Range is necessary for agricultural development and mitigation of cultural losses.