South Dakota tribe's park expansion for bison irks ranchers - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota tribe's park expansion for bison irks ranchers

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PIERRE -- Range land outside of the south unit of Badlands National Park has become contested territory.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe and National Park Service are working on a plan to turn the unit and surrounding land into the first tribal national park.

Opponents of the project, including ranchers using the land, distrust federal involvement in tribal affairs. Some have leased and used the land for decades.

Supporters say the park will allow the tribe to introduce a bison herd and pursue projects outlined nearly 40 years ago. Officials say most of the controversial land belongs to the tribe, which is helping residents find new sites for their ranches.

Public input sessions will take place this Friday in Rapid City and Oglala. Organizers say there is still time for input and compromise.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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