Scotts Bluff was a natural landmark to the emigrants traveling on the
The bluffs’ surrounding prairie changes as well. Approximately 40% of the monument was privately owned and the land disturbed to differing degrees. There have been two golf courses, a picnic area, a cattle feedlot, a hog farm, and several structures within the Monument’s boundary. The scars of these disturbances can be seen today, but restoration efforts are underway, in conjunction with prescribed fire, to return the mixed-grass prairie to its pioneer-period appearance. It is doubtful whether the prairie will be exactly as it appeared to the pioneers. A state highway, three irrigation canals, and a railroad cross the Monument. All of these provide non-native vegetation avenues to invade. Also, the original large ungulates and their grazing effect on the mixed-grass prairie are missing.
Did You Know?
The Summit Road at Scotts Bluff National Monument is believed to be the oldest existing concrete road in the state of Nebraska. The road allows visitors to drive to the top of the bluff through three tunnels for a spectacular view of the valley.