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The Nature Conservancy sells ranch in Custer County

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CUSTER (AP) -- The Nature Conservancy says it has sold a 1,125-acre ranch in Custer County to a private buyer with safeguards to ensure the land remains in native prairie and maintains its ranching tradition.

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The Lame Johnny Creek Ranch is nestled between Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. The Nature Conservancy bought it a few years ago to make sure it was conserved, and began raising bison there in 2005 to help establish new herds on native prairies in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Mexico.

Under the sale to the private buyer, the conservation group maintains a permanent easement restricting future development. The Nature Conservancy also will maintain its bison herd there for several years.

The buyer and the sales price weren't immediately disclosed.

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