• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

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    Park roads and parking lots are under construction. Expect occasional 10 - 15 minute road construction delays along Hwy 240 Loop Road. There is limited parking at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Please follow the signs to park in designate areas.

Another Successful Bison Roundup at Badlands National Park

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Date: October 27, 2006
Contact: Julie Johndreau, (605) 433-5242

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. — The bison roundup at Badlands National Park was a resounding success for all parties involved. For the third year in a row, local ranchers and park employees worked together riding horseback through the Badlands Wilderness to safely gather the bison. Park employees and veterinarians processed the bison through a corral system at an incredibly fast, safe, and efficient rate. In just four days, 657 bison were tested for disease and genetic analysis. Pertinent population statistics were logged into a database tracking system.

The ever increasing bison population at Badlands NP was just too large for the park area to support, so 278 animals were culled. Indian Tribes in six states benefited by receiving these animals through an agreement with the Intertribal Bison Cooperative. Badlands bison were sent to distant new homes in WA, NM, ND, and OK. Both the Santee Sioux and the Oglala Sioux Tribes of SD received some of these bison. "What an incredibly fun and rewarding experience" said park superintendent Dr. Paige Baker. "We were able to do our job of managing the park resources while at the same time involving the community and our Tribal partners."

School children from Wall, Interior, and Philip attended the roundup to learn about wildlife biology and the prairie ecosystem. The Badlands Buffalo Roundup has greatly increased park manager’s ability to conduct a scientifically sound herd reduction program that preserves the genetic variability and appropriate age and sex distribution of the population.

Did You Know?

Bison herd in the Badlands Wilderness Area

25% of Badlands National Park is a designated wilderness area. Established in 1976, the Badlands Wilderness Area consists of 64,144 acres of the largest prairie wilderness in the United States. Administered in two units, Sage Creek and Conata Basin, the area is open for backpacking and exploration.