BC: Photographer: Diane Cudworth
FC: BADLANDS | Copyright: DIANE CUDWORTH 2012 All Rights Reserved
1: FROM THE HAND OF GOD
2: The Badlands of South Dakota offer a rich history. For eleven thousand years American Indians thrived in the Badlands. Over one hundred and fifty years ago, The Great Sioux Nation, consisting of seven bands including the Oglala Lakota, had displaced other tribes. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the U.S. government had taken the land and forced them to live on reservations. In 1976, The Badlands National Monument and the Oglala Lakota Nation began to co-manage and protect 122,000 acres of this southern South Dakota land. The area became known as the Badlands National Park in 1978. It is subdivided into North and South Units. Within the South Unit are many sites held sacred by the Oglala Lakota people and other American Indian cultures. Followers of the Indian prophet Wovoca, believed a Ghost Dance would make them impervious to bullets and that the white man would vanish. One of the last known Ghost Dances was held on Stronghold Table in the South Unit.
4: The Badlands National Park of South Dakota preserves 24,000 acres. It is the largest mixed grass prairie in the United States.
5: The Badlands Wilderness, designated by Congress in1976, is managed by the National Park Service. It protects 64,144 acres of the park.
6: The Fairburn Agate is the state rock of South Dakota. All rock may be studied but not collected. "No trace" principles are still observed today.
8: Colors change as often as the sun's position.
11: Colorful mounds are abundant.
14: The weather can be quite harsh at times, with temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to 116 degrees Fahrenheit.
16: Twelve overlooks offer amazing views.
17: Paved roads wide enough for recreational vehicles make it easy for visitors to travel through the Badlands.
19: The Badlands of South Dakota. Beauty beyond belief.