Preservation 50

A NPS employee and a volunteer kneel by a historic stone wall with tools.
A NPS employee and volunteer assess the condition of a historic stone wall.

NPS photo

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News Release Date: September 26, 2016

Contact: Carrie Jordan, 760-786-3299

Contact: Abby Wines, 760-786-3221

DEATH VALLEY, CA –Are you interested in the history and prehistory of the Death Valley area? Would you like to try your hand at throwing an atlatl? Would you like to know what an atlatl is? Would you like to learn about preservation of a ghost town? Come to Preservation 50 on October 15-16, 2016 in Death Valley National Park.

At Preservation 50, the public is invited to learn about Death Valley's rich cultural heritage through presentations by local historians, archaeologists, and tribal members. Free presentations will be from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Saturday, October 15 in Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

On Sunday, October 16, several hands-on activities and field trips will give the public a chance to delve deeper into efforts to preserve Death Valley's past. There will be an opportunity to assist archaeologists screening soil from an archaeological site to find artifacts. Field trips will be offered to nearby historic sites, such as Ryan Camp. Space on Sunday's activities is limited, and people can sign up at Furnace Creek Visitor Center the day before.

"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."

Preservation 50 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which was the most far-reaching historic preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States. The NHPA was signed into law on October 15, 1966. It was intended 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 NHPA also created the National Register of Historic Places, which is overseen by the National Park Service.

Preservation 50 is also one of Death Valley National Park's series of special events celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016.

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, please contact Carrie Jordan at 760-786-3299 or

Another upcoming historical event in the park is the annual '49ers Encampment, to be held November 9-13, 2016. More information about the '49ers Encampment can be found at


Last updated: September 26, 2016

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P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328


(760) 786-3200

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