The American Bison (Bison bison) is an icon of the Great Plains. At Badlands, bison roam the 64,000 acre wilderness area in the western side of the North Unit. Visitors to the park can view them from the Sage Creek Rim Road.
The park's South Unit, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is planned to become the nations' first tribal national park. The Midwest Region of the NPS is working with the Oglala Sioux Tribe to reintroduce bison to the South Unit and other tribal lands in order to establish another conservation herd of at least 1,000 animals.
Learn more about bison conservation (pdf).
Did You Know?
The badlands are some of the fastest eroding landscapes on earth with erosion rates averaging 1” per year in their fragile layers. However, in areas where sandstone is found, the erosion rate may be 1” in 500 years. Often, toadstools form when surrounding sediments erode beneath a sandstone caprock.