South Dakota drought affecting Badlands National Park
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. — While it definitely sounds unlikely, even Badlands National Park has been affected by the state’s drought.
Both 2020 and 2021 so far were very dry years for the park, whereas 2018 and 2019 were wet years.
As of January 1, park officials have reported only nine inches of precipitation in the area.
“It’s water sources for bison and other wildlife, it’s the richness and the lushness of the grass for forage,” Park Superintendent Mike Pflaum stated. “It affects the fire danger, if you will. It affects the park in many, many ways.”
Badlands National Park is what is known as a mixed-prairie ecosystem. Different types of grasses ranging in height from ankle to knee-high grow there.
The park is home to one of the largest herds of bison in the country along with the endangered black-footed ferret, among many other species.
Badlands National Park is currently open seven days a week to visitors.