Badlands National Park | United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Badlands National Park | United States Geological Survey (USGS)

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Badlands National Park is located in South Dakota comprised of nearly a quarter million acres which includes a vast Wilderness area. This region has been occupied since prehistoric times, with the Native Americans using the Badlands as hunting grounds. From the ancient paleo-Indians to the more recent Lakota, only the Native Americans roamed South Dakota using the land for their hunting grounds for more than 11,000 years. Eventually trappers discovered the Badlands; the name originated when Indians stated this was a 'bad land' to cross. Eventually homesteaders arrived, along with fossil hunters, the American Army, paleontologists and archeologists. The fossil hunters discovered the large resources of the Badlands were covered with fossils. Today fossil hunting is for the paleontologists and archeologists at authorized digs, uncovering extinct animals and fossils dating back over thirty million years. Badlands National Park administers the pristine wilderness area where the endangered black-footed ferret now lives, ecologically important prairie grasslands, the American Bison, as well as numerous other wildlife. The significant and extensive land covered with buttes, pinnacles, spires and spectacular scenery is an outdoor wonder of the world. Visitors flock here for the chance to experience the dark night skies, with or without the ranger-led astronomical Night Skies walks, the wonder and majesty of this awesome landscape where camping, cycling and outdoor activities offer insight into the past. The White River Visitor Center located on the Pine Ridge Reservation, operated by the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority, is staffed by Tribal members who administer the South Unit of the Park in conjunction with the National Park Service. This section was a bombing range during World War II, becoming a firing range after the war, leaving unexploded ordnance in areas. Stop at the Visitor Center for information concerning trail maps and private land. For a more in-depth overview of the history of the Badlands, stop at the North Unit's Ben Reifel Visitor Center and watch an award winning video and tour the exhibits, including the fossils displayed there.

ISBN: 9780607475258
Publication date: 1981

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