Death Valley National Park
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Nevada Press
Title Page, Copyright
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c o n t e n t s
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l i s t o f i l l u s t r at i o n s
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p r e f a c e
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Death Valley National Park is one of the most complex and intriguing of all des-ert national parks in the United States. Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, the park’s 3.3 million acres of staggering dimension and arid beauty epitomize the concept of desert preservation. Though not the f_irst national park in a desert, it is the most quintessential, with a history that is exceptionally diverse in its geologi-...
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Not far from the small outpost of Death Valley Junction near the Nevada state line, California Highway 190 quickly drops in elevation. The above-sea-level landscape seamlessly changes as the miles pass, becoming more colorful, more jagged, more ornate, and more spectacular as the descent continues. Even the casual traveler can see the difference, feel the change, and intuit the special nature ...
c h a p t e r 1Before the Monument
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The land that in 1933 became Death Valley National Monument had a long human history that preceded the arrival of the first Europeans in the New World. In that lengthy story, the environment’s fundamental characteristics determined the fate not only of pre-Columbian peoples but also of each of the cultures that succeeded them. At its core, Death Valley stretched humanity, for no human ...
c h a p t e r 2On the Periphery
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At its establishment in 1933, Death Valley National Monument was an anomaly among US national park areas, an enormous reserve in a region that many Ameri-cans did not regard as special. Most Americans thought of the national parks as places of monumental scenic grandeur, and many still treated the nation’s desert areas as wasteland, far less valuable than the scenic mountains and great chasms ...
c h a p t e r 3Changing the Meaning of Desert
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The 1960s were a heady time for the National Park Service. Mission 66 had finally given the agency the facilities to accommodate the tremendous growth in tourism that followed World War II. Because of a divergent set of forces, the National Park Service began to move in new management directions. Two significant changes—the gi Bill that trained so many specialists at the college level and two reports, the ...
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Although the indigenous peoples of Death Valley have lived in the region for millen-nia, it took a lengthy struggle with the National Park Service and the federal govern-ment to secure their rights to a portion of their homeland. (Courtesy National Park The pursuit of the valley’s mineral riches was one of the key ways by which this arid land-scape entered the nineteenth-century American economy and cultural imagination. Gold ...
c h a p t e r 4Native Americans and the Park
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Death Valley National Monument was established in the heart of the homeland of the Panamint Shoshones, whose descendants later were called “Timbisha.” Federal officials drew up the monument’s boundaries with scant regard for the region’s prior inhabitants and with even less recognition of their historic status and position. The United States had long given priority to the claims of min-...
c h a p t e r 5Managing Death Valley
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Throughout its history, Death Valley National Monument, and its succes-sor, Death Valley National Park, has struggled within the national park system. The unique characteristics of desert management required greater creativity and broader thinking than those needed at most national parks. An oft-crippling lack of financial and human resources for Death Valley and the parallel absence of ...
c h a p t e r 6Death Valley in the Twenty-First Century
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At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Death Valley National Park’s prospects had improved, for it had addressed many of the issues that had vexed its manag-ers since 1933. Between the 1980s and late 1990s, Death Valley had completed the transition to national park status, added an enormous wilderness area, and standardized procedures and practices at a new and higher level than before. The ...
n ot e s
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...1. David Darlington, The Mojave: A Portrait of the Definitive American Desert (Henry 2. John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1991), 41–66; Michael P. Cohen, The Pathless Way: John Muir and American Wilderness 3. Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997), 13–35; Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expan-...
i n d e x
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Page Count: 216
Illustrations: 13 photographs, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2013