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Death Valley National Park: “No Sporting Events” Moratorium

The dangerous roads of Death Valley

This land is your land... this land is my land... so the song goes.

No, it‘s land for government jobs and a land for government jobs.

As per the Death Valley National Park web site:

Sporting Event—Bicycle or Running -

Recently, Death Valley National Park placed a temporary moratorium on issuing special use permits for sporting events within the park while a safety assessment is conducted on these types of events.

The outcomes of the safety assessment and recommendations are required before final sporting event applications can be processed. Based on the projected date for completion of the safety assessment (Summer 2014), applications can be submitted for events that are scheduled from October 1, 2014 and beyond. The park will begin processing those applications when the safety review is completed.

Findings from the risk assessment may require new conditions that will be required of all event coordinators to meet permit requirements and/or that some events may not be allowed in certain areas or permitted in the future if safety risks cannot be mitigated to an acceptable level. For additional information, please see the attached letter.

Note the naked presumptions baked into the statement: “if safety risks cannot be mitigated to an acceptable level”. In short, it is not a proposal for study, it is a statement that there are safety risks that must be addressed. Yet there is no historical evidence of any safety risks over decades. But creating and retaining jobs for park fiefdom employees means they need something to do. This is the way it’s done here and everywhere: invent a public safety issue to expand powers and budgets. A disease of our times.

According to AdventureCorps:

AdventureCORPS and Chris Kostman have hosted 89 events since 1990 under DVNP special event permits without ever being refused a permit by DVNP, the Department of Transportation, or Inyo County. There have been no deaths, no car crashes, no citations issued, and only a few evacuations by ambulance after literally millions of miles covered on foot or by bike by event participants.

The only issue is if there is some undue high risk situation. It is absurd to conflate unusual risks with ordinary everyday to-be-expected probabilities.

Shutting off events for a year is just a fine way of going about it according to the way these government thugs think. Why can’t we fire them for a year while a study is made of whether they are needed at all?

By the way, the “pre approved and permitted” thing quoted after the First Amendment makes a mockery of the concept.

My own experience with the National Park Service has been unpleasant: NPS tells bald-faced lies to the public, which I say from direct firsthand experience. Add in rangers dressed in SEAL-team war gear, and the scariest aspect of public lands are the thugs there wearing the badges. Nor can they be bothered to take action for blatant damage, even when pictures with license plates are provided. In fairness there are also some old-timer “good guys”, but it’s the leadership which crams policy down into the ranks.

Years ago, I was a staunch supporter of seeing new new Wilderness or National Park designations. Now I am vehemently opposed to any new designations—they become fiefdoms where the goal is to restrict, deny, harrass and generally make it unpleasant to visit. It is why as much as I love the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains, I would rather see some degradation than see it “improved” and “protected” by NPS or Wilderness authorities.


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