Members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe are meeting with the Badlands National Park to discuss the details of the United States’ first tribal national park.
A proposal to locate the park recently sparked controversy on the reservation as Oglala tribal ranchers’ grassland leases were revoked to begin preparing the land to reintroduce bison onto the South Unit of the park.
But, members of the OST’s core planning team say that federal legislation authorizing the park would create economic development opportunities.
According to the Rapid City Journal, residents of the Red Shirt community oppose the park because it would encompass land that they own or lease. They said that the tribal council’s decision to take away grazing leases and fence the perimeter of the 133,000-acre South Unit could set a precedent that will spread on the reservation and deprive ranchers and landowners of income.
Six informational meetings at district sites are set to begin on Sunday and continue throughout the week.