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Death Valley Natural History Association June 2023 E-Newsletter

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Death Valley NP Updates

Death Valley NP is Now Cashless

Travis Fudge sells a pass in FCVC 2023 3
NPS photo. Park Ranger Travis Fudge sells a park entrance pass in Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

Starting June 1, 2023, Death Valley National Park discontinued the acceptance of cash and began only accepting credit or debit card payments for camping and entrance fees. The decision was made to address the high costs associated with processing cash, which amounted to over $40,000 last year. By transitioning to cashless payments, the National Park Service (NPS) can utilize the $40,000 previously spent on cash processing to directly benefit park visitors. The fees collected from camping and entrance contribute to various park improvements, such as maintaining clean public restrooms, organizing school field trips, hosting distance learning classroom sessions, providing emergency medical services, and repairing flood damage at Scotty’s Castle.

Visitors can still use cash to purchase the $30 per vehicle park entrance 7-day pass at partner locations, including Charles Brown General Store (Shoshone, CA), Death Valley Natural History Association (Furnace Creek Visitor Center), Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (Lone Pine Visitor Center), and Panamint Springs Resort. Read the full NPS press release here.

Illegal Marijuana Grow Site Clean-Up


The National Park Service (NPS) and partners cleared an illegal marijuana grow site in Jail Canyon, Death Valley National Park, removing trash and hazardous chemicals. The area has reopened to the public. Over 10,000 plants, worth $7 million, were eradicated. The growers had abandoned the site, leaving behind damaged landscape, litter, and toxic chemicals. The NPS has found over 20 such illegal grow sites in remote canyons over the past decade, causing environmental harm and contaminating water sources. Trash removal efforts involved park rangers and the California Air National Guard, and increased surveillance aims to detect and prevent new grow operations for visitor safety and resource protection. Read the full NPS press release here.


Ash Meadows NWR Updates

Planning a trip to Ash Meadows NWR!


The Crystal Spring Boardwalk is a 0.9-mile loop that leads to Crystal Pool, a stunning 15-foot deep pool. The pool maintains a year-round temperature of 87 degrees and releases 2500-2800 gallons of water per minute. You may wonder why the water is so blue. The answer: calcium carbonate. The water’s vibrant blue color is attributed to dissolved calcium carbonate, known as limestone, which scatters sunlight and enhances the blue hue. The limestone is remarkably pure, white, and reflective, which contributes to the pool’s striking appearance.

Read more about Ash Meadows by visiting our Ash Meadows NWR Trip Planning webpage!


Product of the Month:

National Geographic Trail Illustrated Day Hikes


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David Blacker – Executive Director

[email protected] or 800-478-8564 ext. 11

Danielle Wood – Development Director

[email protected] or 775-764-0727

Renee Rusler – DV Institute Director

[email protected] or 775-764-0726

Sandy Andrus-Scheet – Office Manager

[email protected] or 800-478-8564 ext. 10

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