Saturday, February 24, 2018

Eagle Butte
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Fencing installation seeks to reduce abuse and violence near homes


This fence is being set up to keep people from gathering under the trees while they are drinking. The tree line runs adjacent to homes where many youth live and play. Photo by Jody Rust

Concerns about violence and addiction abuse along the tree line that runs the length of Highway 212 on the west side of Eagle Butte have been met with a fence. 

Many community members were concerned in August that the Bureau of Indian Affairs or Education were on a mission to cut down the trees because of the increase in the number of people who hang out under the shade and protection of the trees when the weather is warmer. 

Since the City of Eagle Butte closed the downtown liquor store, the crowd of people who gathered at the corners of downtown streets, now hang out along the walls across from and adjacent to Mni Mart, and in the tree line, because those areas are close to where they can easily purchase alcohol.  ​

JR Schad digs a post hole to install one part of the fence line that will encompass the tree  line from the stop light down to LTM on Highway 212. Photo by Jody Rust 

The pleasant and peaceful shaded path of the tree line is often disrupted with violence and in some cases death directly related to the habits of those who spend most of their time in the tree line. 

To keep people from gathering under the guise of the trees, and to keep them further from the housing that shares the south side of the tree line, the BIA is putting a fence around the trees. 

JR Schad is one of the workers helping the contractor hired to install the fence around the tree line. He said he was told that the fence is an effort to keep people from drinking in the tree line.