If you’ve visited and loved Death Valley, or have so far only been able to admire it from afar, there is a new snack that captures the essence of the desert and also enables some special visitors to learn about it.
The Kettle Chip [crisp] Company recently released a new flavor, “Death Valley Chipotle.” It’s a spicy peppery flavor. The company is providing funds for the Death Valley Natural History Association to sponsor outdoor education for kids from places like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Students are brought to Death Valley to learn about science, nature, and environmental issues—and may also learn things about themselves that their daily routine cannot teach them. Many of these kids have never been to a national park; to some, “park” means the public plaza where drugs are sold or they are warned to avoid at night. With money for schools tough to come by, and the horrible fiscal condition California and the entire U.S. are in, Death Valley is fortunate to have such generous benefactors.
At the website, you can read about the new snack and how you can help this worthwhile cause.
These kids (we hope) will become future national park users, voters who will help decide where American tax dollars and other public resources will go for the next half century, and shapers of environmental policy far beyond all of our lifetimes. The more opportunity they have to appreciate nature now, the more likely they will become advocates for the preservation of natural and historic treasures like Death Valley and pass along these values to their own children.
The DVNHA is not a radical tree-hugger club. It is a cooperating association, an organization authorized by the U.S. government to work with the National Park Service to help carry out the NPS mission: “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations” (from the 1916 law establishing the National Park Service). Its Board of Directors includes academics, present or former NPS personnel, and local residents.