Friends Of The Little Bighorn Battlefield

The Next Generation In The Study Of Custer's Last Stand

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Friends Projects 2006-2007

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Our efforts to help the National Park Service at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (Custer Battlefield) for 2006 proved to be more involved than originally anticipated. When we held our board meetings in January and February we were not sure when Chief Historian John Doerner would return to work from extended medical leave. All hopes for new warrior markers were pretty much gone.  

We wanted a project to assist the NPS, so I suggested replacement of the dead spruce trees in the cemetery. Superintendent Darrell Cook approved this project, so during our second board meeting we voted unanimously to donate $1,000 towards that worthy cause. 

Once Doerner returned in March, he got to work and moved fast. Before we knew it, there were plans for eight new markers and another chance for The Friends to support the battlefield. The board voted unanimously to donate another $1,000 toward the warrior markers. Read our full report of the 130th anniversary weekend events regarding the warrior markers.

Friends also donated toward the replacement of Spruce trees in the Custer National Cemetery.

In the past years, The Friends has donated $5,000-$7,000 annually towards projects. Board Director, Neil Mangum suggested we use the balance of what we didnít donate toward investment of products to sell at the battlefield visitor center bookstore, which is managed by Western National Parks Association. Any product we sell to WNPA doubles its efforts in helping the battlefield because WNPA makes a profit from those sales. Since WNPA provides a large annual budget to the NPS for educational and interpretive projects, profits earned from Friendsí products contributes towards the NPS budget. All profits we earn from sales to WNPA go into The Friends general account, which pays the replacement of dead spruce trees and warrior markers. Itís a win-win situation for WNPA, Friends, the NPS, and visitors to the battlefield. 

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