Death Valley to host Preservation 50 in October

Death Valley National Park invites all history buffs to its Preservation 50 event, taking place next month.

The two-day event going on Oct. 15 and 16, will give attendees the chance to learn about Death Valley’s rich cultural heritage through presentations by local historians, archaeologists, and tribal members.

From learning what is an atlatl and how to throw one, to seeing what preservation of a ghost town takes and more, the Preservation 50 event has activities to please all history buffs.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to share Death Valley’s cultural heritage,” said Wanda Raschkow, an archaeologist in Death Valley National Park. “Hopefully participants will leave even more inspired to preserve the area’s historic and archaeological artifacts.”

The free presentation will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

The Oct. 16 portion of the event will offer various hands-on activities and field trips, giving the public a chance to witness how deep the efforts to preserve Death Valley’s past go.

For those who want to get their hands dirty, there will be an opportunity to assist archaeologists screening soil from an archaeological site to search for artifacts.

Field trips will be offered to nearby historic sites, like Ryan Camp. Space on the Oct. 16 activities is limited, so those planning on attending are encouraged to sign up at Furnace Creek Visitor Center the day before.

Preservation 50 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, which was the most comprehensive historic preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States.

The preservation act was signed into law on Oct. 15, 1966, intending to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the U.S. and established the list of National Historic Landmarks and the State Historic Preservation Offices.

The preservation act also developed the National Register of Historic Places, which is overseen by the National Park Service.

The Preservation 50 is one of Death Valley’s series of special events celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service.

Preservation 50 is sponsored by the Death Valley Conservancy, Death Valley Natural History Association, and Death Valley National Park.

For more information about Preservation 50 contact Carrie Jordan at 760a-786-3299 or

Contact reporter Mick Akers at Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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