weather icon Clear

Death Valley: ‘Chicken Strip’ Airfield gets OK

Death Valley National Park announced that Saline Valley’s “Chicken Strip” Airfield is now officially authorized, as of Aug. 19.

“This legally sanctions the long-established use of this backcountry airstrip,” the park said in its news release providing details.

The Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield, commonly known as the Chicken Strip, is an unpaved landing strip that has been in use for decades.

For most of that time, the land was managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which did not prohibit use of the airstrip.

The Chicken Strip was part of about one million acres of land that were transferred to Death Valley National Park by the California Desert Protection Act in 1994. This transfer from BLM to National Park Service also closed the airstrip by default. Lands and waters of the National Park Service are closed to operation of aircraft unless specifically authorized by a special regulation.

However, the closure was never enforced and many park staff were not aware that the Chicken Strip was not authorized.

“This special regulation is really a deregulation,” Mike Reynolds, Death Valley National Park superintendent, said in a statement. “It removes any question about the legality of the airfield’s use by visitors. We believe this is a common-sense approach that corrects a regulatory technicality.”

The Chicken Strip has been used by an average of 47 planes per year recently. Some pilots use it to access the nearby Warm Springs. Others are drawn by the challenge of the airstrip itself.

Volunteers with the Recreation Aviation Foundation maintain the airstrip at no cost to the taxpayers.

The Recreation Aviation Foundation and the Park Service have been successfully partnering for nearly 10 years to make access to the Chicken Strip safe and available to the aviation community, Recreation Aviation Foundation board chairman John McKenna said in a statement.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Nye County Dems and rural caucus touring Nevada

Two members of the Nye County Democratic Central Committee and Nevada Rural Democratic Caucus are striking out on a tour around the Silver State this month, aiming to drum up support and leadership in preparation for what is anticipated to be a highly contentious election in 2022, and Democrats in Nye, Esmeralda and Lincoln counties will have the opportunity to meet the duo over the next week.

Forget-Me-Not fundraiser set for this weekend in Pahrump

When it comes to veterans, Pahrump is well-known as a community that cares deeply for these men and women who have served the country. Former military service members have often sacrificed their own personal pursuits and happiness, and even their physical and mental health, in their effort to ensure America remains the land of the free and the home of the brave, and this weekend, area residents will have the chance to once again show just how much they support their local veterans during the two-day Forget-Me-Not campaign.

TIM BURKE: Government may finally release a UFO report

The truth is out there. Maybe. Nevada is a hot spot for UFO sightings and conspiracy theories regarding a government cover-up. Area 51 has long been rumored to be a location where UFOs are hidden from the public.

Early morning fire closes Denny’s restaurant

More than two dozen Denny’s employees are out of work for the time being after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning, May 11.

State AGs urge Facebook not to launch Instagram Kids

A coalition of 44 attorneys general are urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13. In their letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the attorneys general cited serious concerns about the safety and well-being of children and the harm social media poses to young people.