103°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Death Valley National Park adds 680 acres with land purchase

Death Valley National Park has grown slightly for the second time this year.

The National Park Service recently announced the acquisition of just over 680 acres of private land at seven locations within the 3.4 million acre park.

The parcels were purchased from the Mojave Desert Land Trust, a California nonprofit that buys land from willing sellers for conservation purposes.

“This fills in several holes in the park,” said Death Valley National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds in a statement. “These areas will never be developed and are now protected for visitors to enjoy.”

The $224,600 purchase included 320 acres leading to a former Epsom salt mine in the Owlshead Mountains; a 55-acre gold prospecting site in the Panamint Mountains; 160 acres near Panamint Springs; 80 acres of salt flats in Saline Valley; 20 acres in Marble Canyon; and 36 acres of former quartz mining land in the Black Mountains.

Already the largest national park in the lower 48 states, Death Valley gained more than 35,000 acres in March as part of a bipartisan lands bill passed by Congress.

President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law on March 12, adding 29,000 acres to the southern end of the park and almost 6,400 acres to the northern end.

The same bill permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses fees from offshore oil and gas drilling to pay for conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country. Proceeds from the fund were used to buy the 680 acres most recently added to Death Valley National Park.

Roughly 11,000 acres of so-called “private inholdings” remain within the park’s boundary, including about half of the popular Golden Canyon-Gower Gulch loop trail and the entire 20 Mule Team Canyon scenic drive. In both cases, the landowners have granted permission for park visitors to cross their land.

Since 2006, the Mojave Desert Land Trust has acquired 17 private parcels totaling 1,039 acres within Death Valley, almost all of which have been conveyed to the park service.

“These lands help piece together Death Valley National Park and protect the integrity of ecosystems,” said Geary Hund, executive director of the trust. “They are representative of the rich natural, cultural, and scenic values of this precious national park.”

Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Two transported after collision at Hwy 160, 372

Two people were transported to Desert View Hospital following a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Highways 160 and 372 at approximately 1 p.m., on Thursday June 17.

Hit and run crash leads to power outage

A hit and run crash led to a power outage on Wednesday, according to authorities..

Cooling stations open in Pahrump

As triple-digit temperatures are expected to extend into next week and beyond in Pahrump, there are some area residents whose homes are not adequately adapted to handle the heat.

Social services fair deemed a success in Nye

The Nye County Social Services Fair attracted more than 200 families and individuals seeking information on the various services provided by the county and other area entities.

Nye County to receive additional $9 million in federal COVID monies

One year after the announcement that Nye County would be receiving $8.5 million in federal dollars thanks to the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, a second round of federal monies is making its way to local governments and the county is expecting to receive another COVID-19 windfall, this time for over $9 million.

Zambelli prepping for Pahrump’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the traditional town of Pahrump Fourth of July Fireworks Show, forcing town officials to restrict access to the park and require that attendees stay in their vehicles to watch the fantastic display, much to the chagrin of the general public. This year, however, things are returning to normal and the entire community will have the opportunity to head out to Petrack Park on Independence Day and relax in the grassy fields for what Zambelli Fireworks crews are promising will be an incredible pyrotechnic experience.

Natural Vibes fundraiser to benefit Clean Up Pahrump

Natural Vibes Wellness and Nutrition Center is continuing in its mission to give back to the local community, with another fundraiser set for this coming Saturday and this time, the beneficiary will be Clean Up Pahrump, a nonprofit organization with the goal of dedicating time each week to picking up trash and removing debris from the valley’s roadways and stretches of unoccupied land.