CCC - Changing the Park
“Every section of the Black Hills has responded to the call of a heavier tourist season, unfortunately Wind Cave must remain in the same old rut.”
“Affairs at the park, are at a standstill due to the pitiful, yet disgraceful lack of funds.”
“The buildings at Park Headquarters compose about the most perfect haywire outfit we have in the park system. They are a disgrace to the U.S. Government and the National Park Service.”
A Struggling Park
On July 9, 1934, a CCC tent camp was established at Wind Cave National Park. NP-1, or Camp Wind Cave, annually employed 200 local men. A permanent camp was built on the hillside southeast of the visitor center. Today, only one building of the original compound remains. During the summer of 1935, a side camp was established at Jewel Cave performing projects similar to those at Wind Cave. NP-1 was transferred to the newly created Badlands National Monument (now National Park) in 1939. A side camp from Custer State Park was sent to Wind Cave to complete unfinished projects and demolish the CCC camp structures. Camp Wind Cave was officially closed in the winter of 1942, bringing an end to a very effective program and a new beginning to the park.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.