Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The Dakotas. Approximately 2.5 years ago, the land began to be carved away to leave the badland topography and geology you see today. Beginning its formation one half billion years ago, this area laid under the seas, where layers of lignite (coal), limestones, siltstones and sandstones formed. Natural kilns formed by clay capped lignite beds are ignited by natural fires, in turn baking the clay and creating clay based scoria. The resistant characteristics of some of the layers form capstones and caprock, leaving cliffs to be carved by Aeolian processes. With the little Missouri river flowing through this quiet landscape of North Dakota, the panoramic views overlook the abundant wildlife that makes its home there. Mule deer, Coyote, Prairie dog towns, Bison (aka as the American Buffalo), and the feral wild horses roam the land. Perhaps this is the inspiration that created that spark in Teddy Roosevelt to embrace our natural wonders we call National Parks. “When Theodore Roosevelt came to Dakota Territory to hunt bison in 1883, he was a skinny, young, spectacled dude from New York. He could not have imagined how his adventure in this remote and unfamiliar place would forever alter the course of the nation. The rugged landscape and strenuous life that TR experienced here would help shape a conservation policy that we still benefit from today.”

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