On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service annouced that it will renew the permit for a 60-year-old Jesus statue atop Whitefish Mountain Resort. The Forest Service agreed with the Montana State Historic Preservation Office that the lifesize statue, nicknamed "Big Mountain Jesus," is eligible for a place in the National Register of Historic Places. The Kalispell Knights of Columbus erected the statue in 1955 as a monument to soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division who fought in World War II. Members of the 10th Mountain Division are credited with establishing at least 60 ski resorts. In a press release, Flathead National Forest supervisor Chip Weber called the statue an important monument for locals and skiing culture. "I recognize that the statue is important to the community for its historical heritage based on its association with the early development of the ski area on Big Mountain," he said. The Freedom From Religion Foundation says it will fight the decision.
Read more at the Billings Gazette
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