South Dakota Badlands National Park map and highlights

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South Dakota Badlands National Park map and highlights

Map of National Park Badlands in South Dakota
Badlands  (South Dakota) on the map. National Park Badlands  (South Dakota state) on the map of USA.    
Previous pages: The delicate beauty of a rainbow provides a striking contrast to the awesome cliffs of Badlands National Park.    
Below: To the early French settlers, the tall spires of the  Badlands were les mauvaises terres a traverser—bad lands to travel  across—but to us today they are a scenic and geologic wonder.    
Badlands, South Dakota    
Established: 1978   Acreage: 243,302    
French-Canadian trappers were among early European visitors to  the Badlands, calling the region 'bad lands to travel across.' Badlands  National Park is a remnant of one of the world's great grasslands,  stretching from southern Alberta and Saskatchewan almost to Mexico, and  from the Rockies to Indiana. Rain, wind and frost have carved steep  canyons, sharp ridges, gullies, spires and knobs from the rolling Dakota  prairie, providing a look into the pace of geologic change.    
The oldest formation in the Badlands is a 65-million-year-old  layer of black shale that formed on the bottom of an ancient sea. About  37 million years ago, the Badlands area was a broad, marshy plain  crossed by sluggish streams. The animals thrived on the jungle and marsh  plants that grew here. Toward the end of the Oligocene Epoch, volcanoes  spewed huge volumes of ash into the atmosphere, which eventually became  the whitish layer near the top of the Badlands formations. Slowly, the  climate changed and became drier. The animals also changed, with grass  eaters emerging.    
The Arikara are the first known Indians to have lived in the  area, but by the mid-eighteenth century the Sioux Indians dominated.  Their culture, based on hunting the large bison herds that roamed the  plains, flourished for the next one hundred years. Then the migration of  Eastern settlers, miners and, finally, the US Army sealed the fate of  the Sioux at the infamous battle at Wounded Knee in the winter of 1890.  The arrival of the white man also led to a similar fate for some of the  large plains animals—the gray wolf, the elk and the grizzly. Although  almost wiped out, bison and bighorn sheep have been reintroduced to the  prairie.    
Other wildlife—pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs, cottontail  rabbits, mule deer and meadowlarks—inhabit the Badlands. Among the  Badland's wildflowers, Barr's milkvetch and Visher's buckwheat show  contrasting adaptations to the dry climate. The milkvetch, a perennial  that can live for as long as 50 years, has a long root that anchors the  plant and reaches down deep into the soil for water. In contrast, the  buckwheat blooms each spring when the rains of April and May bring to  life the seeds that have lain buried during the long winter.   
Badlands  (South Dakota) on the map. National Park Badlands  (South Dakota state) on the map of USA
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