Badlands National Park Facts

Badlands National Park Facts
Badlands National Park is a 242,756 acre park located in southwest South Dakota. For 11,000 years prior to the arrival of homesteaders in the 1800s, the Badlands region was used by Native Americans as hunting grounds, including the Lakota, the Akira, and the paleo-indians. In the mid-1800s as most Native Americans were losing their ancestral grounds and forced to move to reservations, the same happened to the Sioux that had come to inhabit the Badlands region. The park was designated Badlands National Monument in 1939. It wasn't until 1978 that it became designated as Badlands National Park.
Interesting Badlands National Park Facts:
The name 'badlands' is believed to originate from the Lakota people. They originally referred to the area encompassing Badlands National Park as 'land bad'. This is due to the rugged conditions of the area. French Canadians referred to the area as 'bad lands to travel through.'
President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Badlands National Monument by signing a proclamation.
Congress declared the monument Badlands National Park in 1978.
Descendants of the Native Americans that lived in the Badlands region before it was taken over by homesteaders and later declared a national park live in North Dakota as members of the Three Affiliated Tribes.
Wildlife that can be found in Badlands National Park includes American bison, black-tailed prairie dog, badgers, mule deer, bighorn sheep, coyotes, pronghorn, and the black footed ferret.
Snakes, including the prairie rattlesnake, are common in Badlands National Park.
There have been over 215 different species of birds identified in Badlands National Park. Some of these include the peregrine falcon, bald eagle, golden eagle, and various hawk species.
The black footed ferret is one of the world's most endangered species. The species was reintroduced in the area and its ability to thrive is dependent on the park's protection.
During World War II a portion of Badlands National Monument (now park), was taken over by the U.S. military to test artillery. Most was returned to the National Park Service in 1968, but the military still retains 2500 of the acres it took over from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation within Badlands National Park.
Fossils of prehistoric creatures dating back 30 million years have been found in the Badlands National Park region including rhinoceroses, and prehistoric camels.
There is an area within Badlands National Park called the Stronghold Unit, which includes the site Ghost Dances. This area of the park is managed by the National Park Service and the Oglala Lakota Tribe.
At one time the Badlands were under water. This was discovered after bones of extinct creatures were found there including turtle shells and seashells.
Almost 900,000 people visited Badlands National Park in 2012. This is fewer than the year 2000 when more than 1.1 million people visited the park. When it opened as Badlands National Monument in 1939 it had 205,000 visitors.
The highest recorded temperature in Badlands National Park was recorded in 1980 at 114 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are not many trees in Badlands National Park, but wildflowers are very common. There are hundreds of different wildflower species in the park.

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