The National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administratio, have announced an open period for Comments on its “air tour management plan.” And here is the scoping document with “potential alternatives for public comment,” rather short and sweet as these things go:


The “No Action Alternative” would be to continue air tours as have been happening, to recap:

Here’s the park, not that the tours are staying in the “North Unit” and not venturing into the “South Unit” operated jointly by the National Park Service and Oglala Sioux Tribe:

Check out the alternatives — what do you think?

Comments are due by 11:59 p.m. on October 6, 2022, and there’s no email option. Comments may be sent online using the park’s system at

… or use the form at the end of the plan, and send in writing to:

I have a soft spot for the Badlands, having been there in my “formative years,” and a few times since. When thinking of the Badlands, what floods into my brain is what a struggle it was for us, moi at 8 years old, to set up our BIGLY HUGE family tent trailer, “Sunny,” in a torrential rain, in the dark, with mud up to our ankles.

It was such a mess, wind soaking the tent, and blowing it around as we tried to set up. I remember my father trying to pound stakes into the mud, the wind blowing and we were all soaked… maybe that’s part of why my lil’ bro’ hates camping, and yet it fascinates me?!?!?! The Badlands can be so hellishly hot, but for sure that was NOT our August 1964 experience!!

From the photos and google earth, I’m guessing we were at the Sage Creek campground.

On the way to the Badlands, circa 2007, lots of white butts…

And 2016, even closer:

Lots of these cute little guys:

And of course nearby in Custer State Park, VERY nearby, close enough to be wary:

And don’t forget the Minuteman Missile National Historical Site, Interestate 90 at the 131 exit, where you can push the nuclear button: