New Badlands National Park leader open to tribal park plan

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The incoming superintendent of Badlands National Park says he’s open to a languishing plan to create a tribal national park in the Badlands.

Recently named Superintendent Mike Pflaum tells the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/1hqDiOA) that he wants to help repair relationships with tribal officials on issues including the plan.

The proposal would establish on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation the country’s first tribal national park.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe halted its participation in the plan in February. The park had been withholding gate receipts from the tribe because the tribe hadn’t been providing necessary financial reports.

The National Park Service has also created a regional office for Indian affairs to help improve relationships with tribal officials.

Pflaum says he wants to learn more once he arrives to lead the park.

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