Fire recovery money awarded

Rapid City, South Dakota (AP) 8-07
A $250,000 federal grant has been provided to help the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation recover from a large wildfire last month.

The USDA money will allow the tribe and two landowners to repair fences and give up grazing on the scorched prairie until December of next year.

About 350 buffalo owned by the tribe have been moved to other pastures because of the fire, said Birgil Kills Straight, the tribal parks and recreation director.

The Stampede Fire burned through a 20-square-mile area, or about three-fourths of the rangeland where the tribal buffalo roam.

Kills Straight said range recovery already has begun. Recent rains have helped grow new grass, but he said the range is too delicate for sustained grazing.