Death Valley Natural History Association March E-Newsletter

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DVNHA Updates

Women of Change Exhibit at Death Valley NP

Women of Change Exhibit Introduction
NPS Photo. An introduction to some of the “Women of Change” associated with Death Valley National Park, including Juliet Brier, a ‘49er who carried her husband to safety.

Furnace Creek Visitor Center hosts a new exhibit sponsored by The Fund for People in Parks and Death Valley Natural History Association that tells the stories of a number of inspiring and determined women who lived in the area many years ago and influenced the development of Death Valley.

“The desert really does inspire. As you discover in the stories of these dynamic individuals you can feel the spark of their spirit. Working with partners like the Fund for People in Parks and Death Valley Natural History Association to bring these stories out and highlight them, more visitors have an opportunity to develop a personal connection to Death Valley National Park.” shared Kim Selinske, Death Valley National Park Historian.

Boy and Mom discussing Edna Brush Perkins
NPS Photo. A young man and his mother reading the “Women of Change” exhibit. The young man thought Edna Brush Perkin’s had a compelling story to share.

Death Valley NP Updates

Death Valley Seeks Public Input on Salt Creek Boardwalk Replacement

Salt Creek Boardwalk Prior to the August 5, 2022 flood. Photo Credit NPS/J. Gray

With the help of the Federal Highway Administration, the National Park Service (NPS) plans to replace the Salt Creek Boardwalk. Part of this project’s funding came from all our wonderful Giving Tuesday donors. The other portion of the funding will be from federal sources.

The NPS is seeking public feedback on the proposed replacement by March 25, 2023, and they will use this feedback when starting the design process in April. Input may be related to possible alternatives, environmental concerns, and visitor experience considerations.

The proposed redesign facilitates opportunities to safely observe the Salt Creek pupfish without disturbing their fragile habitat. It includes replacing both the accessible boardwalk and interpretive signs. Additionally, the plan supports repairs for the access road, parking lot, and restrooms.

Public comments should be entered using one of the methods described in the full NPS Press Release.

Solitude With 1,100,000

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Photo Credit NPS

In 2022, 1,100,000 people visited Death Valley National Park. January, February, and March were extremely busy compared to past years, while visitation in August, September, and October was about half of normal levels. Visitation picked up in November, and the park had its fourth-busiest December ever.

Solitude is possible when visiting Death Valley NP, regardless of how busy it is, by choosing when to visit. The park is busiest during spring breaks and winter holidays (Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King Junior Day, and Presidents Day), whereas there is low visitation between Thanksgiving and Christmas and in early January. With 5,270 square miles (3.4 million acres) to enjoy, Death Valley National Park offers endless opportunities for recreation, even on the busiest days.

For more information read the full NPS Press Release.

Mud Canyon and Racetrack Roads Reopen

Mud Canyon Flooding 1
Mud Canyon Road after the August 5, 2022 flood. Photo Credit NPS

Mud Canyon Road and Racetrack Road in Death Valley National Park recently reopened. Both roads have been closed since August 2022 due to flood damage. Several sections of Racetrack Road had been washed away by flooding, and Mud Canyon Road had extensive damage following the floods.

Federal Highway Administration contractors rebuilt the destroyed sections of Mud Canyon Road, and the park service reestablished and graded the route on Racetrack Road. Racetrack Road is only suitable for high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles with sturdy tires.

For more information, read the full NPS Press Release.


Ash Meadows NWR Updates

Things to Do at Ash Meadows NWR


Crystal Spring Boardwalk

Crystal Spring Boardwalk is a 0.9-mile, wheelchair accessible loop (1,430 meters) that leads to Crystal Pool. Located behind the visitor center, this short hike is an effortless addition to your visit.

All water naturally has a blue tinge, but the color is more vivid in the springs at Ash Meadows NWR. People often wonder, “What makes this water so blue?” As the water flows to the surface, it carries dissolved calcium carbonate, otherwise known as limestone. Limestone is relatively pure, very white, and reflective. This causes the sunlight to scatter through the water, which enhances the blue and produces a striking appearance.

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

Product of the Month: Devils Hole Pupfish


Purchasing this plush not only provides you with a lovable, adorable new friend, but also $5 from every purchase goes towards the Devils Hole Fund. The Devils Hole Fund supports the Devils Hole Pupfish. It provides funding opportunities to bolster recovery efforts for the Devils Hole Pupfish, an endemic and endangered species.

Purchase a Plush

Donate to the Fund



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

Death Valley Natural History Association |


Education ● Preservation ● Partnership ● Accountability


Preserving and interpreting the natural and cultural resources of the Death Valley region in cooperation with our government partners:

Death Valley National Park and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

(From the Death Valley Natural History Association)

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