Gift supports video project for National Park Service Centennial Anniversary in 2016

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Date: April 17, 2015

Rio Tinto Minerals has donated $50,000 to produce a documentary video series on the unique beauty and history of Death Valley National Park as part of the National Park Service Centennial anniversary in 2016.

The gift was made through the non-profit Death Valley Natural History Association to support the Death Valley National Park video project, a multi-agency collaboration with the National Park Service and Bristlecone Media, whose documentary credits include The Mono Lake Story, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, and Grand Canyon in Depth.

The "Death Valley Explorer" video series is designed to engage the public in the park's rich environmental and cultural history. Each episode will feature visually stunning imagery and inspiring natural and human stories that highlight the unique attributes of America's lowest, hottest and driest National Park.

"Rio Tinto Minerals is extremely proud of our heritage that dates back to the 1880s, when our 20 Mule Team wagons first hauled Borax out of Death Valley, and still today, remain one of the most memorable icons of the American West," Dean Gehring, President and CEO of Rio Tinto Minerals. "Our hope is that this video series inspires a new generation of Americans to appreciate Death Valley's one-of-a-kind geology and history that has been so important to our employees and the local community."

The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation recently launched Find Your Park, a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for the next 100 years. The goal of the NPS Centennial is to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates.

"We hope this series will strengthen the connection between the American people and Death Valley National Park, and build a sense of ownership and pride, inspiring a commitment to its stewardship," stated acting Superintendent Mallory Smith.

Rio Tinto Minerals' commitment to environmental preservation dates back to the early days of Borax. In 1916, previous company officials helped write the language that was adopted by Congress to establish the National Park Service.

Later the company, which operated for decades as U.S. Borax, donated land holdings to the federal government and lobbied to have the area protected as a National Monument in 1933, and again as a National Park in 1994. In 2010, Rio Tinto Minerals donated an additional 110 acres and associated mineral rights to Death Valley National Park.

About Rio Tinto Minerals Part of Rio Tinto Group, Rio Tinto Minerals supplies about 30 percent of the world's refined borates –a critical ingredient in hundreds of products including glass, fiberglass, ceramics, fertilizers, wood preservatives and detergents –from its operation in California's Mojave Desert, one of the richest borate deposits on earth. Learn more at

About National Park Service Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks, which includes more than 400 places that have 275 million visitors every year. Death Valley is the largest U.S. National Park outside Alaska at 3.4 million acres. About 91% of the park is protected as officially designated Wilderness.

About Death Valley Natural History Association Since 1954 the Death Valley Natural History Association (DVNHA) has been the official nonprofit partner of Death Valley National Park. In that time, DVNHA has donated over $3.5 million to the National Park supporting education, preservation, and scientific research. For more information or to make a donation, please go to or call 800-478-8564.



Last updated: April 24, 2015

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