PSR Relax

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. 

This week's heavy rains brought hope among flower seekers that Death Valley might find a good bloom this Spring.  Up to two inches of rain was reported in and around Death Valley National Park early this week which "has greatly increased our prospects for spring wildflowers," writes Park Ranger and Naturalist Charlie Callagan in his most recent wildflower report .

In his report Ranger Callagan cautions readers not to expect the banner displays of 1998 and 2005, but he is optimistic that the upcoming bloom will "still be worth a viewing."
 
Every spring ready visitors from around the world monitor the prospects for a big bloom and regularly email us at DeathValley.com requesting updates.  What we find most interesting about the blooms is that they can often be found as late as July in the upper elevations of Death Valley.
 
But even now, flowers are already poking out.  Callagan notes that "Desert Gold, Brown-eyed Evening Primrose and Sand Verbena have already been observed blooming along park roadsides in the southern and northern ends of the park."

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:
California: 1-800-427-7623
Nevada: 1-877-687-6237

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.

Death Valley Area News
The latest news from inside Death Valley National Park