Report shows visitor spending supports 929 jobs in local economy
Death Valley, CA – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that nearly 1 million visitors to Death Valley National Park in 2012 spent $78 million in communities nearthe park. That spending supported 929 jobs in the local area.
“Death Valley National Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said superintendent Kathy Billings. “We are delighted to share the storyof this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National Park tourism is asignificant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciatethe partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz forthe National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spendingsupported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.
According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and otheramusement and recreation (20 percent).
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in California and how the National Park Service works with California
communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment,and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/CALIFORNIA.
Death Valley National Parks Announces Wilderness Walk Series
in Celebration of 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act
Death Valley, CA–Join Death Valley National Park in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act by participating in a “Wilderness Walk” within the 3.1 million acres of designated wilderness in the lower 48’s largest designated area.
Wilderness is a specific designation bestowed by Congress for the “permanent good of the whole people”. Congress established a National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964 to be composed of federally owned areas for the preservation of wilderness character, which retains qualities such as natural, undeveloped, untrammeled, and offers opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation.
The walks will be held this spring on “Wilderness Wednesdays” and will commence on March 5, 2014. Following dates will be March 12, 19, and 26 and April 2, until resumption in the fall. There will be family friendly hikes from 2-3 hours, or longer excursions from 4-6 hours, including driving time to destinations not regularly visited by the park’s guided hikes. All hikes will be within a 45 minute drive of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. In addition, the park will offer programs that touch on the wilderness theme throughout the year.
The hikes will be led by the park’s wilderness coordinator Ranger Charlie Callagan, a 23-year veteran of the park. Ranger Callagan worked in the park before it had any protected wilderness. The California Desert Protection Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, changing Death Valley’s status from a National Monument to a National Park, and adding 1.3 million acres of former Bureau of Land Management land.
Walks will be limited to 15 people, so advance registration is necessary. Sign up starts the Monday before the hike, you can stop by the Furnace Creek Visitor Center front desk to register. For more information about Death Valley National Park go to www.nps.gov/deva.
Death Valley National Park’s Furnace Creek Visitor Center
Captures First Ever Design Award of Excellence
Death Valley, CA—The Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park was granted the Award of Excellence from Docomomo US. The award is part of the Modernism of America Awards, the first national program of its kind to celebrate the projects and people working to preserve and rehabilitate significant mid-century modern buildings for continued productive use, and to raise public awareness of the ongoing threats to modern architecture and design.
The program seeks to acknowledge the substantial economic and cultural impact such projects had and continue to have on our local communities and to set a standard for how preserving modern architecture can be accomplished. Through the awards program, Docomomo US seeks to bring attention to the many successful local, regional, and national projects, and elevate an appreciation for the value of modern architecture to our cultural and architectural history. Theodore Prudon FIA, president of Docomomo US states, “The quality and variety of the nominated projects submitted for the inaugural year of the Docomomo US Modernism in America Awards is inspiring and speaks to the increasing interest in the cultural value mid-century modern architecture brings to the United States.”
The Furnace Creek Visitor Center captured the Design Award of Excellence for the restoration of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park. In selecting the project, the jury noted the exemplary attention to detail in the preservation and expansion of the site. “Receiving a million visitors annually, Furnace Creek Visitor Center is an outstanding example of the National Park Service’s “Mission 66” program.”
Speaking on behalf of the jury, architect James Polshek continued, “With the recent loss of Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama building at Gettysburg and a number of Mission 66 sites lost or in serious need of restoration, we congratulate the team for recognizing the high architectural and historic value of the complex, committing the funding for its preservation and sensitively restoring, adapting and expanding it for continued productive use. The Furnace Creek project demonstrates the capacity of modern buildings to be productive, adaptable and sustainable well into the future.” Built in 1959 by noted Park Service architect Cecil Doty, the buildings were sensitively expanded in the lobby, restrooms and administrative offices. The additions respect the original architecture, while character defining features were preserved and historically significant landscaping was thoughtfully rehabilitated. New pedestrian paving and shade structures were added for visitor accommodation. LEED Gold certification is pending.
“Death Valley National Park is proud to have the Furnace Creek Visitor Center recognized though this award. A lot of thought and hard work was put in to keep the buildings true to their original design, yet increasing the functionality for modern day users” said Kathy Billings, Park Superintendent.
The Visitor Center was completed and re-opened to the public in November 2012, and holds an array of new exhibits and a new 20 minute park film “Seeing Death Valley”, narrated by Donald Sutherland. Visitor Center hours are everyday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information see www.nps.gov/deva.
About Docomomo: Docomomo US (which stands for the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the modern movement) was founded in 1995 and is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization. Docomomo US has 15 regional chapters whose members work to exchange knowledge, stimulate interest, educate the public, and advocate for the appropriate protection and preservation of significant modern buildings, sites and neighborhoods and landscapes in the United State. More information on the awards program is available at http://docomomo-us.org/programs/awards.
Death Valley, CA– To celebrate the connections between our national leaders and national parks, all 401 National Park Service sites will have free admission during Presidents Day weekend, February 15-17. It is a wonderful time of year to visit Death Valley National Park, with its warm temperatures and promise of spring flowers.
“Every U.S. president has visited, resided in, or been honored in a national park,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Sites such as George Washington’s birthplace, Ulysses Grant’s battlefields and Jimmy Carter’s farm provide insight into the character of the men who have governed our country. Visit a national park and walk in their footsteps. See where they lived and learned, relaxed and recharged, experienced triumphs and tribulations.”
In addition to free entrance, many parks will host special events to celebrate the holiday weekend, including the unveiling of new permanent exhibits at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa. Visit the Presidents Day page on www.nps.gov for a calendar of events as well astravel itineraries and lesson plans about the presidents.
Take the advice of Theodore Roosevelt – perhaps the president most associated with national parks – and visit one of America’s special places. In his words, “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”
The National Park Service will also waive admission fees on five additional days in 2014 – the first weekend of National Park Week (April 19 and 20), the National Park Service’s 98th birthday (August 25), National Public Lands Day (September 27) and Veterans Day (November 11).
National park passes that provide free or discounted admission year round are available for active duty military members and their dependents, senior citizens, and people with permanent disabilities.
Death Valley NP Announces New Tour and Road Construction Schedule
at Scotty’s Castle
Death Valley, CA—Road construction in northern Death Valley National Park will continue for the next several weeks. Crews will be on the road both east and west of Scotty’s Castle and the road to Mesquite Springs Campground. Construction is in progress on eight miles of Scotty’s Castle Road (also known as North Highway or Bonnie Clare Road). Drivers can expect up to 30 minute delays on Scotty’s Castle Road and the Mesquite Springs Campground Road. The construction project is bounded by the Grapevine Ranger Station and the Death Valley National Park boundary. Pavement has been removed, so sections of both of these roads are currently unpaved.
Mesquite Springs Campground and road will be closed for one week, likely in late February or early March.
Part of Scotty’s Castle Road will be closed from February 10 through April 10, 2014. This closure affects five miles of road, from east of Scotty’s Castle to the Death Valley National Park boundary. During that time there will be no access to Scotty’s Castle from Scotty’s Junction on US-95 (from the east).
At all times, access will remain open to Scotty’s Castle from CA-190 via Scotty’s Castle Road (from the south) and from the unpaved Big Pine – Death Valley Road (from the northwest).
Scotty’s Castle will remain open daily during the road construction project. Tours are offered from 10:00am through 3:00pm. Reservations can be made until 9:00pm the previous night at www.recreation.gov or 1-877-444-6777.
More information about Death Valley National Park or Scotty’s Castle can be found at www.nps.gov/deva.
Comments Sought for
Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan
Death Valley National Park
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input to help inform and shape alternatives development for a management plan and environmental impact statement for the Saline Valley Warm Springs area of Death Valley National Park (Park). Five alternatives have been drafted and the Park Service is asking for comments at three public meetings in February. Comments can also be submitted electronically or by mail.
The purpose of the proposed plan is to provide a basis for managing this remote yet popular area of the park, balancing the protection of unique natural and cultural resources with public health and visitor use at the Saline Valley Warm Springs.
Public input is important to this planning process, and the NPS encourages participation at the open house style public meetings at the Park and in gateway communities on February 4-6, 2014. The NPS will present the elements of the preliminary alternatives and provide opportunity for attendees to comment on these and other reasonable options for the planning process. The agency is asking for detailed comments on specific elements of an alternative(s) to help guide the Park in refining the alternatives.
On Tuesday February 4, the NPS will be hosting an open house from 4:00 pm until 6:30 pm at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center Multi-Purpose Room, located in Death Valley National Park, 271 Highway 190, Death Valley, CA.
On Wednesday February 5, the NPS will be hosting an open house from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm in Lone Pine, CA at Statham Hall, which is located on 138 N. Jackson Street in Lone Pine, CA.
On Thursday February 6, the NPS will be hosting an open house from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm in Ridgecrest, CA at the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert, located at 230 W. Ridgecrest Blvd in Ridgecrest, CA.
The preliminary alternatives can be viewed at NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/deva. Comments for this phase of the planning process will be accepted until March 28, 2014. There are several ways to provide comments:
Comments will be accepted in person at the public open house meetings. Additionally, public comment may be submitted online until March 28, 2014, at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/deva.
If you do not have internet access, you may direct comments regarding this project to the park in writing by mail or hand delivery by March 28, 2014 to:
Death Valley National Park
ATTN: Saline Valley Management Plan
P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328
Comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted by an individual or organization on behalf of another individual or organization will not be accepted.
Notice Regarding FOIA
It is the practice of the NPS to make all comments, including names and addresses of respondents who provide that information, available for public review following the conclusion of the environmental assessment process. Individuals may request that the NPS withhold their name and/or address from public disclosure. If you wish to do this, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. Commenters using the website can make such a request by checking the box “keep my contact information private.” NPS will honor such requests to the extent allowable by law, but you should be aware that NPS may still be required to disclose your name and address pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. We will make all submissions from organizations, businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses available for public inspection in their entirety.
Death Valley, CA—Death Valley National Park and the Las Vegas Astronomical Society (LVAS) will co-host a stargazing opportunity on Friday, January 31st and Saturday, February 1st from 7:00 pm until 9:30 pm.
The events will take place at the Furnace Creek Airport near the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Event participants are encouraged to arrive before 7:30 pm. Carpooling is strongly encouraged due to limited parking. The program will consist of an informative “Tonight’s Sky” tour each night at 8:00 pm to orient participants to what is visible with the naked eye. The LVAS will point out constellations and explain celestial phenomena in easy to understand language. Participants will have the opportunity to view features of the night sky through high-powered telescopes guided by LVAS members and National Park Service (NPS) park rangers. Please bring a flashlight and wear closed-toed shoes. Families are welcome.
A daytime component of this event will offer opportunities to view the sun through a solar telescope from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Furnace Creek Ranch on Saturday, February 1st.
Most famous as the hottest place on Earth and the lowest, driest place in North America, Death Valley National Park also harbors some of the darkest night skies in the United States. Death Valley’s natural darkness, along with NPS actions to reduce excessive outdoor lighting and increase astronomy programming, led the International Dark-Sky Association to designate the park as the third and largest International Dark Sky Park in the U.S.
Death Valley National Park rangers offer night sky programs regularly from November through March, and on a limited basis from April through October. Programs vary from telescope viewing, naked eye astronomy, sky legends and stories to full moon programs and night hikes. Come join us and enjoy the crystal clear dark desert skies in Death Valley National Park . . . a rare treasure. For more information about Death Valley National Park programs, visit www.nps.gov/deva.
The Furnace Creek Airport is reached by exiting California Highway 190 at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center and driving west one-half mile.
For additional information about this event, please contact the park at 760-786-3200 or by emailing us at email@example.com
AdventureCORPS, Inc., the masterminds behind the world-famous 135-mile Badwater® 135 Ultramarathon running race held every July between Death Valley and Mt. Whitney, have announced a three-race Badwater Ultra Cup for 2014. The series kicks off with the first ever East Coast Badwater event, Badwater Cape Fear on Bald Head Island, NC on March 22, continues with Badwater Salton Sea on May 5-6, and then culminates with a new and improved Badwater 135 on July 21-23. More information is available at http://www.badwater.com
The BADWATER® ultra running experience comes to the East Coast for the first time when the inaugural BADWATER CAPE FEAR race takes place on Bald Head Island, North Carolina on March 22, 2014. Registration is now open and an image of the 51-mile race finisher’s buckle is attached, along with other images from the race route.
With 50km and 51-mile options, the race features a twelve-mile warm-up on the car-free, one-lane-wide roads of Bald Head Island, followed by either 19 or 39 miles of running on the wild and secluded sandy beach between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher. The race is held along the Atlantic Seaboard with spectacular views of the Frying Pan Shoals to the east and wild and undeveloped marshlands to the west. It is a dramatic, invigorating, inspiring setting to experience Cape Fear in all its grandeur!
This exquisite natural setting is the perfect antidote to the “real world” and a wonderful counterpart to the desert sands of the Mojave Desert and Anza-Borrego Desert featured in the two West Coast BADWATER® races.
Bald Head Island and nearby Southport, NC (featured in the film “Safe Haven”) are ideal vacation get-away spots for the entire family, located less than one hour from Wilmington, NC and its major airport with Delta and US Airways service.
Once the remarkable beauty and quaint southern charm of this area are experienced once, we anticipate that most Badwater Cape Fear participants will make this race an annual pilgrimage.
Currently 58 runners are registered for the inaugural edition and there is room for more adventurous runners to be part of this historic new event. Remember, there can only be one first edition and one chance to say “I was there!”
Badwater Cape Fear is the first leg of the BADWATER ULTRA CUP, which includes Badwater Cape Fear on March 22, the 81-mile Badwater Salton Sea on May 5-6, and then Badwater 135 on July 21-23. Those runners who complete all three full-distance events in the same calendar year will be featured on the Badwater website and their virtues will be extolled throughout the Internet and in future editions of BADWATER Magazine. The male and female runners with the lowest combined times for the three events will be recognized as the 2014 Badwater Ultra Cup champions!
More information is available at http://www.badwater.com
Death Valley National Park
Waives Entrance Fee on MKL Day
The National Park Service invites you to take advantage of the many recreational opportunities available at Death Valley National Park. All National Park units will waive entrance fees in honor of Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2014. Come to Death Valley to explore a polished rock canyon, multi-colored and bizarre rock formations, warm temperatures, and sunny skies.
For more information about Death Valley NP, call 760-786-3200 or see http://nps.gov/deva. For more information about other fee free days in National Parks, go to http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm
AmeriCorps NCCC Helps Restore Wilderness Character in
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, CA – For the next several weeks, an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team of nine members will be working alongside the National Park Service (NPS) to restore and enhance several park areas. The team arrived November 14th and will be staying until December 19th while camping at an NPS campground and working alongside Park Ranger Charlie Callagan.
The AmeriCorps NCCC team will be serving with the National Park Service to further the mission of preserving America’s national parks natural scenery for public enjoyment. Park Ranger Callagan has worked at numerous national parks throughout the country and has been at Death Valley for over 20 years. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team throughout their weeks of service.
During their time in Death Valley NP, the team will be working at various sites doing stream restoration, invasive species removal, as well as removing over 3,000 lbs. of metal fencing to clear land for wildlife to access water from springs. The team will also be clearing plane wreckage, removing over 1200 lbs. of metal debris to make the site conform with wilderness character.
Corps Member Stephen Long commented on the team’s commitment to the next weeks of service in the park, stating, “We are eager to continue our work to restore the natural beauty of Death Valley so that others can enjoy the amazing things we see every day”. This commitment to service is exemplified in the work of the AmeriCorps NCCC members and shared throughout the National Park Service. Together, they will work to maintain and preserve Death Valley as the national treasure it has always been.
The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and its FEMA Corps units engage 2,800 young Americans in a full-time, 10-month commitment to service each year. AmeriCorps NCCC members address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, and urban and rural development; FEMA Corps members are solely dedicated to disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery work. The programs are administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS is the federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.