In May of this year the National Park Service (NPS) announced it was initiating a Wilderness Stewardship Plan for the Congressionally designated wilderness areas within Death Valley National Park (DVNP). The first public input opportunity on the plan will conclude on June 30, 2009.
There are 3.1 million acres of designated wilderness within Death Valley National Park, comprising 93% of the Park. This planning process only applies to these designated wilderness units and, according a DVNP press release, "does not includes non-wilderness backcountry concerns, such as: backcountry road corridors and campsites, backcountry cabins near roads, Saline Valley hot springs, private inholdings or other non-NPS lands, and developed campgrounds."
Although among only a fraction of DVNP visitors, those who spend time in the backcountry wilderness should see this as a good opportunity to be heard on your concerns about the management of Park's wilderness units.
Click here to see the Request for Public Input on the NPS website.
Next week's meeting of the Desert Advisory Council of the Bureau of Land Management has been canceled. It was scheduled for Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19, but the agency was unable to release an agenda to the public within 30 days of the meeting.
For more information click here to see the BLM website for the Desert Advisory Council.
Several sources are reporting major road closures in the Death Valley area due to a severe winter storm that struck the area on February 7, 2009. Furnace Creek reported an inch of rain with more storms expected through the week. Look for most roads to reopen as they are cleared.
Click here to view a PDF of the Death Valley National Park Morning Report, which is updated daily. Area travelers can also check road conditions by calling:
Today's DVNP Morning Report for February 8, 2009 reports that Highway 190 and Daylight Pass Road are open but cautions motorists to watch for mud and debris. However, just about every other maintained road is closed, including Beatty Cutoff Road, Baterwater Road, Dantes View Road, Scotty's Castle Road, Titus Canyon Road, and Ubehebe Crater Road.
Even some of the most remote destinations are reported closed in today's DVNP Morning Report, including Saline Valley, the Racetrack and Hunter Mountain – all closed due to snow and ice.