Visitors gathered near the historic Sanson homestead in Wind Cave National Park on Saturday, October 15, to celebrate the acquisition of 5,555 aces of ranchland formerly owned by the Casey family, a press release from the National Park Service stated. Wind Cave National Park, located in South Dakota, is one of the most complex cave systems in the world, with almost 30,000 acres of prairie and ponderosa pine forest in the park.
Voices of singers and the sound of drums from the Ateyapi Drum Group echoed off the nearby cliffs as the Native American Veterans Association Post 1, Rapid City, S.D., posted the colors.
“The National Park Service (NPS) has been working for almost 11 years to acquire this property,” the press release stated. “The thousand year-old buffalo jump and historic Sanson homestead are among the key resources protected as a result of a recent announcement by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and The Conservation Fund. The Conservation Fund is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting important places across America.”
The land was bought at auction last year, and is located just south of Wind Cave NP. The purchase was made by the Conservation Fund and held until Congress appropriated the necessary funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund this year.
“Michael T. Reynolds, Regional Director, Midwest Region, NPS, spoke of the Call to Action to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the NPS in 2016. The Call to Action is an initiative to revive the parks to be relevant and accountable to the people. Regional Director Reynolds talked of the dream of having an America Indian interpretive ranger at the buffalo jump using modern technology to reach out to classroom audiences around the nation.”