Take a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and it’s hard to resist a drive or hike through Custer State Park.

Last year's Legion Lake fire in Custer State Park was devastating. Not only to this National Forest but to wildlife, ecosystem and to the state’s tourism industry.

According to the state Game, Fish and Parks Department the deep smell of pine and landscape is about to be rejuvenated with a $1.8 million grant to support rehabilitation work following a devastating December wildfire that burned more than half the park.

The Legion Lake Fire started from a downed power line and grew to become the third-largest fire in Black Hills modern history.

The state Game, Fish and Parks Department says the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is providing the grant. The money will be used over three years for aerial mapping, tree thinning, reseeding, weed control, erosion control and stream rehabilitation work.

Trust spokesman Walter Panzirer says Custer State Park "is truly a gem for the entire state of South Dakota."


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