Buffalo Gap National Grassland

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Buffalo Gap National Grassland
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Buffalogap Charon.jpg
Map showing the location of Buffalo Gap National Grassland
Map showing the location of Buffalo Gap National Grassland
Location South Dakota, United States
Nearest city Hot Springs, SD
Coordinates 43°29′57″N 102°53′21″W / 43.49917°N 102.88917°W / 43.49917; -102.88917Coordinates: 43°29′57″N 102°53′21″W / 43.49917°N 102.88917°W / 43.49917; -102.88917
Area 595,715 acres (2,410.77 km2)[1]
Established June 23, 1960
Governing body U.S. Forest Service

Buffalo Gap National Grassland is a National Grassland located primarily in southwestern South Dakota, United States. It is also the second largest National Grassland. Characteristics of the grasslands include mixed prairie and chalky badlands. The grassland is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and is a division of Nebraska National Forest. In descending order of land area it is located in parts of Fall River, Pennington, Jackson, and Custer counties. It is managed by the Forest Service together with the Nebraska and Samuel R. McKelvie National Forests and the Fort Pierre and Oglala National Grasslands from common offices in Chadron, Nebraska. There are local ranger district offices located in Hot Springs and Wall.[2]

In what is known as the Conata Basin region of the grassland, the most successful Black-footed ferret reintroduction program undertaken by the federal government, has established a small but sustainable population of these previously extirpated mammals.

In 2010, South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson introduced the Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act of 2010, a bill that would designate over 48,000 acres (19,000 ha) of the National Grassland as protected wilderness. The act would allow the continuation of grazing and hunting on the land and would create the first national grassland wilderness in the country.[3][4]

In Jan. 2013, Charmaine White Face raised concerns about radiation exposure of South Dakota Army National Guard soldiers in the Buffalo Gap National Grassland.[5]


  1. ^ "Land Areas of the National Forest System". U.S. Forest Service. January 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Conservation Group Hails Introduction of Grassland Wilderness Bill". South Dakota Wild Grassland Coalition. May 5, 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Cook, Andrea J. (June 16, 2010). "Neighbors disagree on grasslands wilderness". Rapid City Journal. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Charmaine White Face: Deadly dose of uranium for soldiers". Indianz.Com. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-03-27.