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Black Hills National Forest getting 350 more acres

September 2, 2019

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has purchased an additional 350 acres for the Black Hills National Forest for preservation of wildlife habitat and protection of at-risk watersheds and impaired streams.

The Forest Service announced the purchase Wednesday from the Trust for Public Land, the Rapid City Journal reported. The land, which was owned by the Myrle G. Case Trust, care of Wells Fargo Bank, was bought with money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Black Hills National Forest has about 1.2 million acres.

In addition to preserving wildlife habitat and protecting watersheds and streams, officials said the land will also be used to provide more recreational opportunities for the public.

The Rapid City Journal reports the parcels are in an impaired watershed area called Spring Creek, and that Forest Service officials will work on improving an impaired stream — Tenderfoot Creek. The creek has 3.6 miles that flow within the parcels. It’s all part of collaboration among municipal, state and federal agencies to bring Spring Creek in compliance with state water-quality standards, Forest Service officials said.

The purchase of the 350 acres is also part of the Revised 1997 Black Hills National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, Phase II Amendment. It states: “In cooperation with other landowners, strive for improved landownership and access that benefit both public and private landowners.”

The nine parcels from the purchase are about 5 miles north of the city of Custer.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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