06 3 / 2013
A private corporation is trying to seize public lands.
It is happening right here, right now, in Vancouver, Washington.
Here’s the background information that is not being shared in the local news:
- 1971 Vancouver, Washington sells seven acres of land adjacent to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to the National Park Service (NPS)
- 1977 Historic Pearson hangar burns down
- 1995 Vancouver and the NPS enter an agreement to re-build the historic Pearson hangar as a city museum operating out of federal buildings on federal land. Vancouver agrees to financially support the museum. Vancouver sub-contracts with a group for the daily management of what is now the Pearson Air Museum.
- 2005 Vancouver sub-contracts with the Fort Vancouver National Trust (the Trust) for the daily operations of Pearson Air Museum.
- 2011 Vancouver informs the NPS that they will no longer financially support the Pearson Air Museum after February 1, 2013. The NPS and the Trust have no legal basis to work with each other at Pearson Air Museum. The NPS and the Trust enter into negotiations to work directly with each other at Pearson Air Museum.
- 2013 January 10 The Trust informs NPS that they can not operate the museum according to Federal strictures that govern the management of NPS properties. http://www.nps.gov/fova/parkmgmt/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=569741
- 2013 February The Trust, after abdicating its role as management for Pearson Air Museum, abruptly shuts down the museum by moving all of the exhibits. The Trust claims that the NPS, who requested keys and alarm codes for the property for which they are responsible, made an agressive move and evicted them from the property.
- 2013 mid-February Rep. Herrera-Beutler introduces a bill on Capitol Hill in DC to seize the land from the NPS and gift it to Vancouver, Washington. The city that claimed it could not support the Pearson Air Museum originally.
Why This is Important
This bill would set a precedent of seizure of public lands by private entities. This is not okay. This is not fair. This is a violation of American values.
Currently, the Honorable Patty Murray (D-WA) is the focus of a letter-writing campaign to allow the passage of Herrera-Beutler’s bill. If you are a Washington state resident, please contact her office at:
154 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510; phone: 202-224-2621; fax: 202-224-0238; toll-free 866-481-9186
If you are not a Washington state resident, please contact your own representatives. Register your concerns. It is important.
Please fight the privatization of public lands.
*Link to NPS site for further information and correspondence between NPS and the Trust: http://www.nps.gov/fova/parkmgmt/pamops2013.htm
10 11 / 2012
"Real education is a radical process. It thumps you on the head until everything you know makes no sense anymore. Then you run around picking up the pieces of your head and picking them back together. The pieces never go back together in the same way.” Debbie Millman"