Letter: Preserve integrity of historic site
Sunday, March 17, 2013
The March 10 editorial, "Congress, keep Pearson local," stated, "The historic site wants events that promote history; the trust wants events to cater to broader community interests." This statement underscores the reason the proposed transfer should be opposed as the supporting local entities simply don't get it.
Fort Vancouver was recognized as a national monument in 1915 under the Antiquities Act; then formalized by Congress in 1948. Legislation in 1961 re-designated it a national historic site primarily to depict the history of the Hudson's Bay Company. Historic sites are preserved for the benefit of the nation.
I am retired from the National Park Service, and I don't think the original intent of this site foresaw inclusion of varied community activities or support for local private pilots' interests. While I agree that Pearson Field has some limited historic interest, it's far overshadowed by the import of the adjoining historic site.
The Columbian and the Fort Vancouver National Trust would better serve the interests of the community by recognizing, protecting and promoting the mission of the Park Service in managing the historic site.
House Resolution 716 was an unnecessary step, doesn't represent national interests and should be rejected by the House Interior Committee as "pork barrel" legislation that only serves a small number of local proponents.