Change is constantly under way at Badlands National Park, where erosion is the craftsman. But change also is under way at the park's Cedar Pass Lodge, and craftsmen were involved there, too.
This year the concessionaire, Forever Resort, installed a number of new guest cabins in time for the 2012 season. The cabins feature wood paneling salvaged from Black Hills pine trees felled by bark beetles. The wood bears the distinctive “beetle-kill” markings of beautiful grey-streaked wood.
The cabins also were furnished with regionally sourced handcrafted lodge pole pine furniture felled by beetle kill and repurposed wood from an old grain storage built in the 1930s that later became the warehouse (Circa 1940-1950) used by Owenhouse Hardware, a company in Montana that is still in business today.
An energy-efficient, on-demand hot water heater installed in each cabin. Compact fluorescent lighting is used throughout each cabin for energy efficiency. Bamboo towels will be provided for guests’ use in each cabin. Low-flow toilets installed to support water conservation.
These modular cabins were manufactured locally and kept workers employed during the slow winter season.
Recycling, reducing their impact on the environment and educating visitors of Cedar Pass Lodge will continue as part of the Lodge’s Environmental Management System in place since 2002 called Forever Earth™.
New cabins include repurposed concrete countertops. They also feature Energy Star 32-inch flat-screen TV, refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave.
Pets are welcome (for an additional fee).
Cedar Pass Lodge is located near the site of the 33-million-year-old saber-tooth tiger fossil discovered in 2010 by a National Park Service junior ranger program participant, Kylie Ferguson. Paleontologists at Badlands National park plan to open a new fossil quarry, named the Saber Site, at the location of the tiger discovery this summer. The site and prep lab, located in the adjacent Ben Reifel Visitor Center, will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week, from June 4 through Aug. 24, 2012.