Congressional hearing on Pearson Air Museum bill set for Thursday

If passed, it would transfer ownership from the Park Service to the city of Vancouver

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter

Published:

 
photoCongresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler moved legislation today that advises the U.S. Coast Guard against approving a permit for a new Columbia River bridge that restricts river traffic.

The House Natural Resources Committee will hear a bill Thursday morning that could shift ownership of Pearson Air Museum from the National Park Service to the city of Vancouver.

HR 716 was introduced Feb. 14 by U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas. It would transfer 7 acres from the Park Service so the museum can reopen under management by the Fort Vancouver National Trust, which had operated the museum for the city since 2005.

If the House Natural Resources Committee’s Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee votes to approve it, the bill will then move to the House floor.

The bill will be heard along with two others by the subcommittee, which meets at 7 a.m. The hearing will be broadcast live at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live/.

After the hearing the broadcast will be available in the committee archive here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/archives/list.aspx?EventTypeID=264%3A265&SearchPhrase=

The museum switched management on Feb. 6 as conflicts came to a head between the National Park Service, which owns the land and building, and the Fort Vancouver National Trust.

The site had been set up to run as a collaborative endeavor between the Park Service, the city and the trust through 2025.

Much of the dispute between the groups revolved around the criteria for events. The Park Service wanted the museum and event scheduling to be under the control of the superintendent of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, with a strong focus on history. The trust wanted to continue to run it as a community and educational site.