Sunday, September 30, 2012

Badlands, Conata Basin make eco list

The Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska has announced her top ten regional ecotourism favorites. The Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge is, of course, on the list as are other Montana treasures.

#1 is:
Badlands National Park (S.D.) -- The park has 244,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie. It is home to bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets and other wildlife. The South Unit of the park is in the process of becoming the first tribal national park, with its world-class natural and cultural resources to be managed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Conata Basin (S.D.) -- The basin refers both to a larger ecoregion consisting of some 142,000 acres just south of Badlands National Park and to a smaller tract of 6,188 acres (plus 25,188 acres of federal grazing allotments) owned by the Nature Conservancy. This largely intact prairie, which provides a home to the full array of prairie wildlife, is the site of a critical and controversial effort to reintroduce nearly extinct black-footed ferrets, which require prairie dogs as food source.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and Devils Tower in Big Wonderful also made the cut: h/t @jayfug.

And yes, 71 between Crawford and Hot Springs is still pants-wetting for her sunsets.


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