Each month we will be highlighting an airstrip that the RAF has had an impact on. We hope that you will get out and enjoy these airstrips. This month’s Featured Airstrip is Chicken Strip in CA.
The Chicken Strip is a 1,300-foot dirt strip in a remote corner of Death Valley National Park. The drive there is an arduous trek over rough dirt roads that take 3 or more hours to traverse, so visitation is limited. Natural hot springs are a short walk away. It is maintained by the RAF under an MOU with the National Park Service.
The RAF works in conjunction with pilot associations from the surrounding areas to provide manpower and funds to complete projects. When Chicken Strip washed out and became unsafe after an October 2016 downpour, RAF California State Liaisons mustered volunteers and worked quickly to re-open the gravel strip. “We go into Chicken Strip each fall for maintenance,” RAF California Liaison Rick Lach said. “We pull the drag to smooth out the ‘whoop-de-doos’, and volunteers fill low spots with rakes and shovels. We have no problem rounding up twenty or so volunteers from all over California and Arizona for a work weekend,” he added. Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells are paved and the RAF pulls weeds and sees to tie-down maintenance. “It’s a real pleasure working with Karen (McKinlay-Jones, Chief Ranger) and Mike (Reynolds, Park Superintendent),” Lach added. “They have been very supportive.”
Submitted on December 15, 2017.