Letter: Integrity of site preserved
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Loud music, dunk tanks, bounce houses? Good grief! Fort Vancouver is not the county fair. I hope that planners of the All Church Picnic grab this teachable moment and learn something. The missions of the National Park Service are to preserve and protect and interpret the very special places in our country for all of the people living, as well as future generations. That's a whole lot different from a city park or a county fairgrounds or commercial venues.
We know that recently the official designation of the Fort was pushed up a notch, becoming "Fort Vancouver National Historic Site." Every square foot above and below ground has historical significance on the Fort grounds, and that's not just within the palisade. Operations are being fine-tuned. It sounds like Chief Ranger Greg Shine did a terrific job explaining this to the event's planners. It's unfortunate that event organizers didn't ask or weren't informed by Pearson Air Field of the upgraded permit necessity. However, the permit denial was an important decision made by the park service to preserve the integrity of the site in requiring that the event have a meaningful connection with the park.