Badlands National Park, in
southwest South Dakota, United States preserves 242,756 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the
largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.
The Badlands Wilderness protects 64,250 acres of the park
as a designated wilderness area and is the site of the
reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land
mammal in North America.
The Stronghold Unit is co-managed with the Oglala Sioux tribe and
includes sites of 1890s Ghost Dances and a former United States Air
Force bomb and gunnery range.
Over 11,000 years of human history in the park pales in comparison
to the ages-old paleontological resources also found there. Badlands
National Park contains the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil
beds, dating 23 to 35 million years old. Scientists can study the
evolution of mammal species such as the horse, sheep, rhinoceros and
pig in the Badlands formations.
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