Letter: Praise for National Park Service
Friday, June 29, 2012
For nearly 100 years, the National Park Service has been managing special places like Yellowstone and Gettysburg, the USS Arizona and Fort Vancouver. The Park Service's central mission is to provide for the enjoyment of national park sites in such a way as will leave them unimpaired for future generations. This congressional mandate requires the Park Service to protect park wonders by placing limits, even prohibitions in some cases, on type and location of activities.
It's a very difficult balance between use and protection, one the Park Service does extremely well. Fort Vancouver is part of the National Park System, a national gem. It was the site of western headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company, home to American greats such as Ulysses S. Grant and George Marshall, the first multicultural community in the Northwest, and the final resting place of both Native Americans and U.S. soldiers.
The Park Service is correct in its determination that leisure pursuits such as a soccer tournament and an all-church social complete with a bouncy house, slip-and-slide, and amplified rock music would be better hosted elsewhere. I encourage Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, to support the Park Service in this matter, as well.