Custer County officials were prepared to remove a locked gate constructed on Farmer Road at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) compound near Pringle in southwest Custer County. The Custer County Chronicle reports that no action was necessary, as FLDS removed the gate voluntarily.
The Custer County Commission met July 6th and discussed this issue after it was brought to its attention by local landowner Jim Farmer. The gate was built on Farmer Road, which runs through the FLDS compound and is marked as public right of way, meaning that no gates can be built on it. The gate was constructed at the northern end of the FLDS property past the guard tower. FLDS members were alerted by the county that they had a week to remove the gate or county officials would remove it. County Sheriff Rick Wheeler said that FLDS members had been uncommunicative with him following his assistance in the arrest of leader Seth Jeffs, so the order had to be delivered in person.
When the gate was originally built, it was kept locked and Farmer was offered keys, but Farmer feared that the gate would impede his ability to rent his property, located at the end of Farmer Road, past the FLDS compound. Law enforcement later told FLDS members that the gate must remain open and unlocked, which was followed, but ultimately the gate was not allowed.
Looking for more information? Read more about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the compound in Pringle on the Black Hills Knowledge Network and visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network archive.