By - Abby Lutrick
Who founded the Badlands?
President Roosevelt Franklin officially made the Badlands a national state park in 1939, but we all know that it really happened way before 1939. So really what happened was, in 1909 South Dakota noticed that the 244,000 acres were ones to be preserved. Yet this did not happen until two men came along in 1920 and decided to do so. One of these men was a South Dakota U.S. Senator called by the name of Senator Peter Norbeck, and the local homesteader Ben Millard. These two men worked tirelessly to get the 244,00 acres of land. Sadly Peter Norbeck died three years before the Badlands was made an official national monument.
The Badlands have very harsh summers that are always dry, while in the winter they can get from 12 to 24 in of snow. I would recommend going in the summer. Also don't be surprised if it is sunny one day and the next day it is pouring down rain, they have a lot of dramatic and sudden weather changes.
Activities and Festivities
When visiting the Badlands you can do many things, such as visit the fossil prep lab where you can learn a lot about paleontological and watch the experts at work. But that is not all you can do you can go on the Badlands GPS adventure or even go camping and explore the backcountry, but don't forget that you can even become a junior ranger.
FUN FACTS! :)
During World War 2 the U.S. government took over a portion of Pine Ridge and used it as a gunnery range, from 1942 to 1945 they tested all kinds of artillery there. The Badlands is home to many, many fossils. Most them are from species that went extinct long long ago. Fossil scientists have be coming there since 1899.
The Badlands have had some relation to Indians, now let's see how. A bunch of the land was originally held by the Sioux Indians.
In 1980 the last ghost dance was seen, the Lakotas did it because they believed it rendered them impervious to the bullets of the white men.
Ghost Dance Video Below
Lakota Ghost Dance - Wounded Knee