Dean M. Chriss
Mini Me Pinnacles, Badlands National Park, South Dakota
(Click image to enlarge)
The badlands of Badlands National Park erode at a rate of about one inch or 25
millimeters per year. That may not seem like a lot, but over millennia erosion
has reduced formations like those seen in the background of this photograph to
small bumps like those seen in the foreground. Badlands National Park presents
us with an ever changing landscape that is present for only a fleeting moment.
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.