With 2.5 million acres (0.9 million hectares) of mixed public and private grassland, this site conserves outstanding habitat for ferruginous hawk and lark bunting. Species of biological concern include piping plover and sage grouse.
The Slim Butte unit of Custer National Forest could form the core of this region, with considerable state land nearby. This thirty-mile (50 km) ridge has a narrow band of ponderosa pines, but the steep slopes quickly give way to relatively level grassland. Deciduous trees prosper in the draws.