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Sentinel Butte, North Dakota

Sunday, October 10, 2010



This has got to be the worst looking billboard in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. It is located along I-94 between Sentinel Butte and Beach, North Dakota. The sign advertises an annual rodeo held at Home on The Range (HOTR) which is a place for troubled kids. The rodeo is held as a fundraiser for the "boys' ranch". The past couple of years, HOTR has started putting a sign up like this a month or so before the event. None of the signs have been much more attractive than this one but this is the absolute worst. From the back side it looks like the next time we have a good wind from the west, the whole thing will blow over! I am convinced that HOTR has just been painting over the same old plywood each year to make the sign!


This might be a one of a kind sign considering where it is located. The south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is bordered on the south end by I-94, near Medora, North Dakota. What makes this sign unique is that is located on a piece of private deeded land within the park. This is the very last piece of private land in TRNP. Over the years since the park was established as Theodore Roosevelt National Memory Park in 1947 and as a National Park in 1978, as much private land as possible was consolidated into the park. Common practice has been for the National Park Service to make a land swap with land owners within the park, trading them for land outside of the park.
This sign appeared over a year ago. Out of curiosity, not long after the first time we saw it, my  husband called the realtor. He was told the current owner had been offered a trade by the Park Service but declined it, deciding to try to sell it instead. The price being asked for the forty acres is outrageous! Especially when taking into consideration there is no access to it via the park or interstate. Getting utilities to it would also be next to impossible. Due to it's proximity to the park, use of the parcel would be very, very  limited. Since it is right along the highway a commercial enterprise of some sort might do well but there is no way the National Park Service would let that happen! The land has changed hands several times over the years, once even being willed to the Catholic Church. It will be interesting to see how long the current owner will hold out before taking the land trade offered, finds someone to buy it  or just gives up and holds on to it!


9 comments:

Shirley said...

I think the hillside with the rocks making the words is the best billboard. 200 acres of private land in a national Park? Some movie star will buy it. Solar power, cell phones, who needs utilities?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I like the first sign....something you don't see just anywhere. :)
And the land for sale is very interesting. Sounds like a reat deal until your read the 'fine print' eh? hehe!

~Lisa

Sharmin said...

I love the rocks on the hillside. I saw that alot when we were in CO, but you don't see it as much around here even though we have hills...I guess we just have too many, and when it rains the rocks would just wash down the hillside.

Janice said...

Loved your picks, very well done.

Linda said...

Looks like I missed the bull riding this year ;)

Regular Guy said...

Nice shots, those signs really stick out. At least the bull riding letters look evenly spaced. Looks like it needs a little TLC. Interesting story on the land sale.

Crystal said...

hmmm now that I see that top one I remember one on the way to stettler thats ugly like that. Would be kinda cool to own land in a national park, but not worth much if theres no way to service it.

Sarah said...

Yep, I'm familiar with both those. We almost went to that rodeo this year, but decided we'd rather stay at home. It was one of the weekends we happened to be at the ranch. I'm with you...that sign isn't going to last the winter. IN fat I'm shocked its still standing!
And I didn't know the history behind the realestate sign. That's interesting.
Malcolm was sleeping when I passed your way so I refrained from honking the horn. Didn't want to wake him. Next time!

DayPhoto said...

We have a realtor around here who has become a multi-millionaire just by buying up land like the above and then selling it to the government. When they won't meet his price he develops it, complete with electricty and water. He brings everything in with his helicopter...the next person who buys it does the same thing. So at the edge of the Gunnison Black Canyon is a to die for house ---perched there in amazing glory. (It is beautiful) the only way to get there is by air, and there is a pad so you can.

Sure ruins the park.

Linda
http:coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com