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Margery H. Freeman
Date created
Death Valley, California
This photograph copyright ©2009. All Rights Reserved

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Date Palms at Furnace Creek, Death Valley, CA

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A stand of Date Palms at Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California. Date Palms are a non-native species, and park rangers work to remove as many of the plants as possible, as they crowd out native flora and fauna. The palms are one of the less insidious invaders; the park also fights two varieties of tamarisk, an aggressive plant that propagates readily and salinizes the soil where its leaves fall.

Death Valley National Park is located east of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. It is home to the lowest point in North America at Badwater, which is 282 feet below sea level, but it also encompasses parts of several mountain ranges. Its highest point is Telescope Peak, at 11,049 feet. Located in an rainshadow exaggerated by the presence of four major mountain ranges between it and the ocean, Death Valley receives less than two inches of rainfall a year and is famous as one of the hottest and driest places in North America. Summer temperatures often hover around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.