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Salt Creek Boardwalk public comment period

death valley

Salt Creek Boardwalk public comment period

 

salt creek
Pickleweed along banks of Salt Creek. A damaged section of the original boardwalk is in the background. NPS photo

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – The National Park Service (NPS) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are one step closer to replacing Salt Creek Boardwalk. The agencies have funding to replace the boardwalk which was destroyed by a flash flood. The public has an opportunity to comment on the project before it proceeds.

Salt Creek is the only habitat of the Salt Creek pupfish (Cyprinodon salinus salinus). For decades, the half-mile-long boardwalk provided wheelchair access, while preventing people from trampling the pupfish’s spawning ground and surrounding riparian plants. Loss of vegetation would decrease shading along the creek, which is a critical component of the pupfish’s habitat.

A flash flood in August 2022 destroyed the boardwalk and vault toilet. The parking lot and road were further damaged during the remnants of Hurricane Hilary in 2023.

NPS and FHWA propose to reconstruct the 1.2-mile unpaved road to its pre-flood condition, restoring vehicle access to the site. Material will be buried to protect portions of the road from future floods. The parking lot location will be shifted slightly eastward, and will have an improved layout. The agencies plan to rebuild the boardwalk to its original length, with a slightly different route and using helical piles to anchor it. The damaged single vault toilet will be replaced with a double vault toilet. Damaged infrastructure will be removed. All public access to the site will be closed during construction, which is planned for fall 2024 through spring 2025.

salt creek
Stakes indicating planned alignment of Salt Creek boardwalk. NPS photo

The public comment period on the Salt Creek Boardwalk Replacement Project Environmental Assessment is open through June 23, 2024. A previous round of civic engagement in March 2023 helped park staff refine the project designs and provided valuable input as to which environmental considerations would be carried forward for further analysis.

The public is invited to submit written comments on the environmental assessment online at parkplanning.nps.gov/SaltCreekEA. Comments may also be submitted by mail to:

Death Valley National Park
ATTN: Salt Creek Boardwalk Replacement
P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328

www.nps.gov/deva-

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at www.nps.gov/deva.
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