Natural Capital: Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota


Natural Capital can be defined as “the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things”. Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota is home to Badlands National Park, a park of 244,000 acres of protected land. This park has many features surrounded by a mixed-grass prairie ecosystem ( It is home to one of the most complete fossil accumulations found in the United States and offers rich insight into ancient ecosystems on this land ( Since this land has so much worth protecting, like the unique shapes of the buttes, pinnacles, and spires, the National Parks Conservation Association (NAPCA) is doing everything they can to preserve this park. Because it is home to an abundance of wildlife and horticulture, it is one of the most precious parks according to the NAPCA ( Another source of natural capital in the Oglala Lakota community is the white river, or better known as the Missouri River. It gets it’s name from the distinctive color it has due to it’s clay content. It is generally recognized as good quality water and also provides hunting grounds for people in the surrounding area (blackhills & badlands). Clearly the natural capital in Oglala Lakota County is very beneficial to the people inhabiting the towns around it. It’s a good thing that there are organizations like the NAPCA that are trying to preserve the beautiful nature this county has to offer.