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By Marcus Huff
Staff Writer 

Governor signs act to expand Medicine Lodge State Park

HYATTVILLE – A bill signed into law on Friday by Governor Matt Mead effectively increases the size of the Medicine Lodge Archeological Site, north of Hyattville, currently part of the state parks system.

 

March 13, 2018



HYATTVILLE – A bill signed into law on Friday by Governor Matt Mead effectively increases the size of the Medicine Lodge Archeological Site, north of Hyattville, currently part of the state parks system.

“Ultimately, the bill will increase visitation and to add more campsites, “explained Medicine Lodge Superintendent Brooks Jordan, during the bill’s introduction.

Under the bill (Senate Enrolled Act 7), Medicine Lodge would gain 52 acres from the Department of Game and Fish, specifically, “A parcel of land of approximately ten (10) acres in Dry Fork canyon; A parcel of land of approximately fourteen (14) acres of the pasture parcel in the hay meadow; A parcel of land of approximately twenty-eight (28) acres west of park headquarters.”

Originally purchased in 1972 by Game and Fish, the Medicine Lodge Wildlife habitat Management Area consisted of 12,000 acres, including the archeological site. Later, the archeological site, home to petroglyphs and native ceremonial sites, was put under control of the state park department.

In April 2017, a combined committee from the State Parks and Game And Fish conducted an independent review of the holdings, and presented their recommendations, to expand Medicine Lodge, to the state’s Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee in August.

“The land itself is already public,” said Jordan, “the ownership will remain with Game and Fish, but should give us some room for expansion.

In addition to camping areas, Jordan noted that expanded trails will be built on the new land. There are no plans for permanent structures at this time.

The bill signed Friday goes into effect on July 1 of this year.

 
 

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