The Campaign for America's Wilderness of the Pew Environment Group today applauded Senator Tim Johnson's (D-SD) introduction of legislation to permanently protect nearly 50,000 acres of wilderness in the Buffalo Gap National Grassland of western South Dakota.
“We commend Senator Johnson for his leadership and vision on this historic legislation. The grasslands in South Dakota are an important piece of the nation's natural and cultural heritage,” said Marcia Argust with the Campaign for America's Wilderness of the Pew Environment Group. “If enacted, the measure will create the very first grasslands wilderness in the nation, complementing South Dakota's current appeal as an outdoor and hunting mecca, both to residents and out-of-state visitors. Wilderness will sustain this resource, and that's good for the economy.”
The wilderness areas proposed in this legislation—Indian Creek, Red Shirt and Chalk Hills—are a short drive from Rapid City, yet showcase a vast array of landforms and unique plant life and provide spectacular wilderness recreation opportunities such as hunting, birding, horseback riding, hiking and camping.
“Wilderness designation will ensure that the land will remain untouched and free of development for generations to come,” Argust said. “This new protection will also provide ranchers statutory assurance that their grazing rights will continue.”