North America's most endangered mammal--the black-footed ferret--is
being reintroduced to the Conata Basin area; the land serves as
a home to the ferrets' main food source, the black-tailed prairie
|Indian Creek proposed Wilderness. Photo
by Heather Morijah
The Conata Basin area of Buffalo Gap National Grassland
is the most successful black-footed ferret reintroduction site in
America. This land serves as a home to the black-tailed prairie
dog, which in turn provides both food and living space for a large
number of prairie animals, including burrowing owls, eagles, hawks
and rattlesnakes, not to mention black-footed ferrets.
In South Dakota's Buffalo Gap National Grassland, the extraordinarily
beautiful Cheyenne River watershed hosts some of the finest examples
of potential prairie wilderness left in the nation, including the
largest remaining roadless area in the entire Great Plains. This
area contains many of the same features as the spectacular Badlands
National Park, which lies adjacent. However, the Cheyenne River
features are much more pastoral in nature. The Cheyenne River
Valley badlands and breaks are more solitary and isolated, inviting
the backcountry visitor into their realm.
|Red Shirt proposed Wilderness. Photo by
The South Dakota Chapter of the Sierra Club and many others are
working hard to protect these roadless lands--Indian Creek, Red
Shirt, Cheyenne River and First Black Canyon--within Buffalo Gap
National Grassland as America's first national grassland wilderness
areas. In fact, the U.S. Forest Service in August 2002 recommended
two of these four areas for that designation. To view a copy of
the Cheyenne River Valley Grasslands Heritage Proposal, click here.
What you can do: For further information on the grassland
wilderness campaign, or to receive updates and action alerts, contact
Heather Morijah at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call (605) 342-2244.