The South Dakota Badlands are not only arid rock formations. The Park also protects one of the largest expanses of mixed-grass prairie in the United States. Over 400 different plant species have been identified.
While some 142 million of acres of grasslands once covered North America, a meagre 1% remains today. As iconic of the Wild West as rugged canyons, buffalo, beef, and John Wayne, the prairie is now an eco-oasis on the brink of disappearing by agricultural development, urban sprawl, invasive species, pesticides and climate change.