Little Missouri National Grassland

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Little Missouri National Grassland
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Little Missouri National Grasslands.jpg
Map showing the location of Little Missouri National Grassland
Map showing the location of Little Missouri National Grassland
Location North Dakota, United States
Nearest city Medora, ND
Coordinates 47°05′56″N 103°32′13″W / 47.099°N 103.537°W / 47.099; -103.537Coordinates: 47°05′56″N 103°32′13″W / 47.099°N 103.537°W / 47.099; -103.537[1]
Area 1,028,784 acres (4,163.34 km2)[2]
Established June 23, 1960
Governing body U.S. Forest Service
Website Little Missouri National Grassland

Little Missouri National Grassland is a National Grassland located in western North Dakota, USA. At 1,028,784 acres (416,334 ha), it is the largest grassland in the country.[2] Enclaved within its borders is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is managed by the National Park Service (and therefore not included in the preceding statistics). The Little Missouri National Grassland was once a part of the Custer National Forest, but is now a part of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, a National Forest unit consisting entirely of National Grasslands. A predominant feature of the grassland is colorful and beautiful badlands, a rugged terrain extensively eroded by wind and water. It is a mixed grass prairie, meaning it has both long and short grass.[3][4]

The boundaries of the grasslands on certain maps can be misleading. Within the boundaries of the national grassland are significant portions of state-owned and privately owned land, much of it leased by cattle ranchers for grazing. Overall, in descending order of land area, it is located in parts of McKenzie, Billings, Slope, and Golden Valley counties.

White Butte, North Dakota's highest point, is located in the extreme southeast corner of the grassland, south of the town of Amidon.

The grassland is administered by the Forest Service as part of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands from offices in Bismarck, North Dakota. There are local ranger district offices in Dickinson and Watford City.[3]

Retired NASA astronaut Robert L. Gibson has proposed creating an airstrip within the grassland.[5]


  1. ^ "Little Missouri National Grassland". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Land Areas of the National Forest System". U.S. Forest Service. January 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Dakota Prairie Grasslands". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ Macek-Rowland, K.M. "Studying the Effects of Land Use on Sediment Loads, Little Missouri National Grasslands, North Dakota". USGS. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ Robert L. Gibson#Post-NASA career

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