PSR Visit

Death Valley is back to its usual form, claiming the nation's highest temperatures during the entire first week in April, reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit on April 4th.

Death Valley was last the nation's hot spot back in mid-March when it claimed the top temperature for seven of eight consecutive days.  During that spell the highest temperature was 102 recorded on March 16th.

The return of hot temperatures to the region prompts us to remind visitors of the need to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water during your stay.  This is just the start of the hot season, as during the summer months between June and September temperatures can exceed 120 degrees every day, occasionally for weeks at a time.

Now is a terrific time to explore the mid to higher elevations.  Day time temperatures there are still quite comfortable for hiking, while evenings are still cool enough for a light jacket around the campfire.

If you are visiting Death Valley be sure to consult the Morning Report issued daily by Death Valley National Park.  You can find an easy link to the Morning Report on our top and left side menus.

On March 15, 2007, the United States Department of the Interior's Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) issued an order in what has become known locally as the White Swan case. In its decision, the IBLA "Affirmed in Part; Reversed in Part" the cessation order issued by the Ridgecrest Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  While we are still reviewing the seventeen page ruling in case IBLA 2004-204, below is the concluding paragraph summaryizing the IBLA's "Order".

Read more: IBLA Issues Split Ruling on White Swan

If you're looking hoping for a repeat of recent spring blooms in Death Valley, I'm sorry to say that it won't be this year.  It takes big, late winter rains to launch the flowers, and this year the heart of Death Valley has received but a quarter inch of rain this year.  There's no magic number that I know of when it comes to how much rain will result in a bloom, but something tells me it's got to be more than a quarter of an inch.

However, the least I can do is leave you with a look at one of Death Valley's famous Spring bloom from last year.

 No Spring Bloom in Death Valley this Year

Editor Randy Banis with Congressman McKeon editor Randy Banis met with Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon and his staff on February 27, 2007, in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues regarding the management of backcountry public lands in the vast Death Valley region.  McKeon represents California's 25th Congressional District which includes Death Valley National Park, much of the BLM's Ridgecrest, Barstow and Needles field offices, and portions of the Inyo and Sequoia national forests.

Banis discussed ways to return balance in decision making for the public lands in the California deserts, particularly as they affect recreational access for rock collectors, photographers, picnic goers, hunters, historical explorers, and deep backcountry hikers and solitude seekers.  Such visitors have long relied on appropriate motorized access to the backcountry but have lost access to many of their favorite destinations resulting from decades of unbridled road closures and restrictions.

Of particular concern is the recent introduction of Senate Bill S. 493 by Senator Barbara Boxer, which seeks to remove critical motorized access from and additional 2.4 million acres of public lands, including  hundreds of popular backcountry destinations.

Read more: Editor Meets with DV Congressmen