Hay Springs Yaks

The Pine Ridge

Nebraska is not entirely flat, and the Pine Ridge is not only an Indian Reservation.

In the northwestern corner of Nebraska, where the state of Nebraska fades into South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana, lies  a rugged ribbon of land 100 miles long averaging 10 miles wide called the Pine Ridge.  This little known escarpment between Nebraska's White and Niobrara rivers is east of Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains and just 50 miles south of South Dakota's Black Hills, its two larger and better known cousins.

Here the flora and fauna are very similar to the Black Hills and the Bighorns.  The higher elevations  are almost exclusively home to Ponderosa Pine.  In the riparion zones one finds Cottonwoods, Box Elder, Ash, and Willow. It is common to see mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.  Turkeys are abundant.

Predators include bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, golden and bald eagles.

The region surrounding the Pine Ridge is planted with alfalfa and wheat. The Pine Ridge, too rugged for planting, is used primarily for grazing and recreation.