As chair of its executive council and on behalf of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, I would like to express our support for the efforts of Superintendent Tracy Fortmann to assure the activities at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site meet the highest standards of the National Park Service. The strident negative commentary misunderstands the management requirements of the Pearson Air Museum at Fort Vancouver.
Fortmann, and all of her staff, have a duty to manage the park consistent with the policies that apply to all the special places in the National Park system. Establishing partnerships is a “best practice” throughout the Parks, but successful partnerships require willingness to work within the terms of established agreements and Park goals. Unfortunately, the commitment to work within the agreement and Park Service policies was not met by the Fort Vancouver National Trust at the Pearson Air Museum. After months of trying to work out issues, Fortmann had to make the difficult and unpopular decision to cancel the agreement.
We support the determination of Fortmann and the Park Service to assure that all programs and activities at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site reflect the high ideals and best traditions of the National Parks in service to the people of the nation.