Dean M. Chriss
Badlands, Grassy Plateau
(Click image to enlarge)
This photograph shows some of the fantastically eroded geology of Badlands
National Park along with patches of grassland that are seemingly held up by the
eroded pillars. The ground was very wet from days of rain during this particular
visit, so there was no walking on the heavy clay soil. Doing so would result in
enormous amounts of mud stuck to your boots and footprints in the soil. The
benefit of the wet soil was richer colors in photographs.
Badlands National park protects 242,756 acres (98240 Ha) of sharply eroded
buttes and pinnacles, along with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in
the United States. Part of this area is a 64,144 acre (25958 Ha) designated
wilderness area. This wilderness is one site where black-footed ferrets, one of
the most endangered mammals in the world, was reintroduced. The U.S. National
Park Service manages the park, with the South Unit being co-managed with the
Oglala Lakota tribe.