ABSTRACT

The establishing act set up a park of 900 acres under the Secretary of the Interior, who was directed to prescribe rules and regulations; and penalties were fixed for their violation. The Secretary might use receipts from rentals and leases for administering the park, but no judicial system was set up for the trial of offenses. A strange provision authorized him to lease the cave or parcels of land above it for tourist accommodations. There were ten private entries in the park, four of which were cancelled and one suspended, leaving five valid; the owners were permitted to surrender their land and select other lands on the public domain, but they were slow to make exchanges. Some of the South Dakota school lands were included in the park and the Secretary set for himself the task of trying to trade outside lands for these school lands. Nothing was said in the act about wildlife, for there was little wildlife except prairie dogs.