Death Valley Days is an anthology series that featured true stories of the old American West, mainly in the Death Valley area.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Death Valley Days - Death Valley National Park - Netflix
Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California—Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada. The park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 states, and the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. Approximately 91% of the park is a designated wilderness area. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984. A series of Native American groups inhabited the area from as early as 7000 BC, most recently the Timbisha around 1000 AD who migrated between winter camps in the valleys and summer grounds in the mountains. A group of European-Americans, trapped in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California, gave the valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The valley later became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies. Tourism expanded in the 1920s when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994. The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology. The valley is actually a graben with the oldest rocks being extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, warm, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. The subduction uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes. Later the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly. In 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Death Valley Days - Protection and later history - Netflix
In 1976, Congress passed the Mining in the Parks Act, which closed Death Valley National Monument to the filing of new mining claims, banned open-pit mining and required the National Park Service to examine the validity of tens of thousands of pre-1976 mining claims. Mining was allowed to resume on a limited basis in 1980 with stricter environmental standards. The park's Resources Management Division monitors mining within park boundaries and continues to review the status of 19 patented mining claim groups and less than 10 unpatented mining claims, while ensuring that federal guidelines are followed and the park's resources are protected. In 2005, the Billie Mine, an underground borax mine located along the road to Dante's View, closed, ending mining in the park. Death Valley National Monument was designated a biosphere reserve in 1984. On October 31, 1994, the monument was expanded by 1.3 million acres (5,300 km2) and re-designated as a national park, via congressional passage of the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103-433). Consequently, the elevated status for Death Valley made it the largest national park in the contiguous United States. Many of the larger cities and towns within the boundary of the regional ground water flow system that the park and its plants and animals rely upon are experiencing some of the fastest growth rates of any place in the United States. Notable examples within a 100-mile (160 km) radius of Death Valley National Park include Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. In the case of Las Vegas, the local Chamber of Commerce estimates that 6,000 people are moving to the city every month. Between 1985 and 1995, the population of the Las Vegas Valley increased from 550,700 to 1,138,800.
President Herbert Hoover proclaimed a national monument in and around Death Valley on February 11, 1933, setting aside almost two million acres (8,000 km2) of southeastern California and small parts of southwesternmost Nevada. Twelve companies worked in Death Valley using Civilian Conservation Corps workers during the Great Depression and on into the early 1940s. They built barracks, graded 500 miles (800 km) of roads, installed water and telephone lines, and erected a total of 76 buildings. Trails in the Panamint Range were built to points of scenic interest, and an adobe village, laundry and trading post were constructed for Shoshone Native Americans. Five campgrounds, restrooms, an airplane landing field and picnic facilities were also built. Creation of the monument resulted in a temporary closing of the lands to prospecting and mining. However, Death Valley was quickly reopened to mining by Congressional action in June of the same year. As improvements in mining technology allowed lower grades of ore to be processed, and new heavy equipment allowed greater amounts of rock to be moved, mining in Death Valley changed. Gone were the days of the “single-blanket, jackass prospector” long associated with the romantic west. Open pit and strip mines scarred the landscape as international mining corporations bought claims in highly visible areas of the national monument. The public outcry that ensued led to greater protection for all national park and monument areas in the United States.
In 1977, parts of Death Valley were used by director George Lucas as a filming location for Star Wars, providing the setting for the fictional planet Tatooine.
Death Valley Days - References - Netflix