'It didn't need to be saved'

  • Janice Allen

    Michelle Nijhuis photo

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Janice Allen is a member of the Death Valley Advisory Commission. Since the 1860s, her family has grazed cattle on lands that are now within Death Valley National Park:

"To me, it's tremendously sad that lots of local people won't even go (to the park) now. They say, "I don't know where I can go, where I can drive, camp or build a fire." You can drive down the main road and look out your window and say you've seen Death Valley park, all 3 million acres of it. That's ridiculous.

"The resources themselves are no better off. To me, the land was just fine, it didn't need to be saved. Overall, I don't feel that the park designation is going to be the great savior of the resource. What it's going to affect is people's use of it. Over time, people won't realize how much less of the park they're able to see. People will accept it more because they don't know what they're not allowed to see.

"There's an increase in traffic in the park. Where you used to see a lot of old clunker vehicles driven by people who were going to come out and stay a while, the cars you see go by now are part of the SUV crowd - and they're flying over those roads as fast as they can."

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