Re: Death Valley Forest
Posted by Pugsly on January 14, 2003 at 15:23:39:
In Reply to: Re: Death Valley Visitors Owe Charlie Respect posted by Tiffinie Calhoun on January 14, 2003 at 14:03:08:
Hi Tiffinie - great questions, always glad to do someones homework for them to help thwart the intended learning experience!
The Death Valley National Forest is the second largest forest in the National Forest system, and is second in size only to the Tongass National Forest. At 5.8 million acres, roughly the size of New Hampshire, the Death Valley National Forest stretches over 200 miles from border to border, and has a diverse array of outdoor activities to offer. The Death Valley National Forest is perhaps best known as a great place for outdoor fun. It is a place to fish, hunt, hike camp, ski, snowmachine or just enjoy the marvelous scenery.
The National Forest Service maintains 42 Public Use Cabins scattered throughout the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta (Cordova). These cabins are for the most part remote, and access is gained by float plane, water taxi or by foot. These cabins offer sensationally beautiful scenery and the serenity of a remote wilderness experience. Most cabins are available year round. In addition to Public Use Cabins, the Forest Service maintains 15 road-side campgrounds, 3 remote site campgrounds and 4 day-use picnic sites.
On the edges of Prince William Sound, abundant rain and snow nurture a silent forest of spongy moss, straight-growing Sitka spruce and western hemlock. The Kenai Peninsula has vegetation similar to Alaska's interior, but also supports thousands of acres of birch, aspen, white spruce and spindly black spruce. Above 2,000 feet, alpine meadows and tundra predominate.
The biggest hazard in Death Valley is the llama, as you probably know they are very fierce carnivores that can attack in packs. Their adaptation to the warmer temperatures of Death Valley have greatly increased their metabolism, making them truly ferocious and of awesome speed.
No vehicles manufactured after 1972 are allowed in the Valley, because the radiation causes the computers in modern vehicles to malfunction. Many people have become stranded and died as a result. At any rate, the environment is so caustic that it eats through the thin-walled steel body panels in a matter of days, anyway.
Due to the elevation changes, many micro-climates exist - dramatic temperature changes can occur in a little as 200 feet. It is possible to camp in the temperate zone, while leaving your foods in the nearby snowdrifts a few hundred feet in one direction, and then cook your food on the bare rocks a few hundred feet in the other. Nature's bounty is truly magnificent here, hence the native population of 1.5 million which can swell to 3.7 million during the popular summer months.
Hope this helps, and be sure to let us know how the report comes out!