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The Badlands celebrates a milestone © Tetra Images/Getty Images
Badlands National Park was officially designated a national park on this day in 1978, ensuring 244,000 acres of picturesque landscape are protected for all to enjoy. The region first gained the nickname ‘badlands’ from the Lakota people, a nod to the extreme temperatures, lack of water, and rocky terrain. But it’s not all rugged land here. The national park includes prairie as well—home to bison, deer, and the endangered black-footed ferret, nicknamed ‘prairie bandit.’