The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting important places across America, acquired the property at auction from the Casey family last year and has transferred it to the Park Service.
This completes a process begun in 2000 when the family approached the Service about selling the land to the park. In 2005, with support from the South Dakota Congressional delegation, Congress passed legislation to expand the park, pending an appropriation to purchase the land. When the land was put up for auction by the Casey family, The Conservation Fund purchased the property to hold for the NPS until federal funding became available.
Congress appropriated the necessary funding this year from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which enables federal and state agencies to acquire lands that feature important historic, natural, scenic and economic benefits for public use and enjoyment. The fund receives significant revenue from the development of federally-owned offshore oil and gas rights.
Park staff will now start the public planning process to allow visitors to experience this new land.