Letter: NPS should operate museum
Sunday, March 10, 2013
If this community wants a museum at Pearson Air Field, let the National Park Service operate it. The Park Service has almost 100 years of experience managing museums nationwide, and is responsible for some of our country's most treasured artifacts.
It seems the problem over Pearson started because Park Service employees were enforcing the laws governing use of federal property. Recent editorial comments suggest that an agreement was "broken" by the Park Service. In my view, the Fort Vancouver Historic Trust violated the terms it had agreed to follow. The Park Service had to hold the trust to that agreement, so the trust made the decision to dismantle Pearson.
There is a small, very vocal group who wants control of Pearson Air Field, and they are using the museum issue as a smokescreen.
Also consider the dollar cost of running Pearson Air Museum. It will not make enough money on its own to support the added cost of the buildings and land.
Maintenance costs for the historic hangars, storage and care of artifacts, and salaries of museum staff should not be shifted onto the citizens of Vancouver.
The dedicated employees of the National Park Service deserve support and thanks.