So Far, So Good For National Park Service Staff At Tule Lake

One of the small group discussions during a public meeting on July 24, 2013, in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, where the National Park Service solicited community feedback regarding the development of the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor In The Pacific National Monument. NPS staff member Anna Tamura, who is featured in this story, is shown here, top left.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — Being part of the Manzanar Committee, and having served on the Manzanar National Historic Site Advisory Commission from 1994-2002, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with most of the National Park Service (NPS) employees who have served on staff at Manzanar since it became a unit of the NPS back in 1992.

Since that time, something I’ve said over and over is that the general public, the people of the Owens Valley, and in particular, the Japanese American community, have been extremely fortunate to have such amazing, dedicated, quality people working at Manzanar.

On July 24, I had the opportunity to meet some of the NPS staff working at the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor In The Pacific National Monument, including Superintendent Mike Reynolds, and Anna Tamura, Planning Lead for the Tule Lake Unit, Pacific West Region, who is working to develop the General Management Plan (GMP) for Tule Lake (see National Park Service Is “At The Ground Floor” In Planning For Tule Lake).

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National Park Service On Tule Lake Airport Fence: “We’ve Certainly Weighed In” On The Issue With FAA

Soji Kashiwagi of the Tule Lake Committee was one of several community members who railed against the proposed fence that would
enclose the airstrip at Tule Lake.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — On July 24, the National Park Service provided details and an update on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed perimeter fence that would enclose the airstrip at the site of the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

At their public meeting in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo to gather community feedback on how Tule Lake should be managed over the next twenty years, Mike Reynolds, Superintendent, Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific and Lava Beds National Monument provided some background.

“It’s a public airstrip,” he said. “Modoc County leases the land to the City of Tulelake. It’s the City of Tulelake’s airstrip, so if we were all wealthy enough to own airplanes that are small enough, we could land there.”

“It’s an agricultural community,” he added. “The whole Tulelake and Klamath basin is primarily agricultural. The crop dusting business, which is critical to all that agriculture, is run out of that airport. 99 percent, or more, of the flights that take off are for crop dusting services. Spring, Summer and Fall, all day, sunrise to sunset, there’s little planes taking off every 15 to 30 minutes, providing crop dusting services.”

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National Park Service Is “At The Ground Floor” In Planning For Tule Lake

A former Tule Lake incarceree shared his
story during a National Park Service
meeting on July 24, 2013, in
Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — For the past five weeks, and continuing through September 19, 2013, National Park Service (NPS) staff have been and will be traveling up and down the West Coast, meeting with former Tule Lake incarcerees and others, collecting their feedback on how the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor In The Pacific National Monument should be developed and managed.

NPS staff began right around the site of the Tule Lake Segregation Center, with meetings in the towns of Tulelake and Klamath Falls, California, followed by meetings in Portland and Hood River, Oregon, and Auburn and Seattle, Washington.

Most recently, NPS staff was in the Los Angeles area, holding two meetings in Little Tokyo on July 24 and 27, with meetings in Carson on July 25, and in San Diego on July 26, in between.

“What we’re trying to do, being that Tule Lake is newly-established, we really want to get input from folks who want to help guide us, or give us advice on what Tule Lake, as a National Park Service unit, should look like,” said Mike Reynolds, Superintendent, Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor In The Pacific and Lava Beds National Monuments, following the July 24 meeting in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. “I thought tonight was a great meeting, because we got a lot of a good input.”

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National Park Service Releases Five-Year Strategic Plan For Tule Lake

Editor’s Note: We’re a bit late posting this, but the following is a letter from Mike Reynolds, Superintendent, Tule Lake Unit World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, dated May 17, 2013.


To view or print a copy of the Tule Lake
Unit Five Year Strategic Plan,
click on the image above
(requires Adobe Reader software).

Dear Friends of Tule Lake,

In 2012, the National Park Service held a series of meetings with people who have close connections to Tule Lake. These people included Tule Lake survivors, representatives of Japanese American organizations, historic preservation organizations, and park neighbors. The meetings were intended to initiate communication with people connected with Tule Lake. After those meetings, it became evident we needed an interim plan to guide our efforts while a larger planning process begins in 2013.

The ideas you provided during the 2012 meetings guided the creation of the Tule Lake Unit Five Year Strategic Plan. This interim plan provides immediate direction for establishing a foundation for operations and management. It contains goals, strategies, and projects that are aimed at gathering baseline information about Tule Lake, stabilizing at-risk resources, and creating an organizational framework for integrating Tule Lake’s operations with those at Lava Beds National Monument. We invite you to read this plan to understand our goals over the next few years and to stimulate your thinking about Tule Lake’s long term future.

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