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Tule Lake meetings continue;
Public input sought on management of the National Monument Unit
 
 by LEE JUILLERAT, Herald and News 7/16/13.

     Public scoping meetings that will shape management decisions for the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument will be moving to a series of California locations in coming weeks.

   Mike Reynolds, superintendent of the Tule Lake Unit and Lava Beds National Monument, said many of the people held at the Tule Lake Detention-Segregation Center during World War II removed from Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area.

   During its peak, Tule Lake had a peak population of 18,700 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, living in barracks enclosed by barbed wire fences with armed military guards. It was the largest of 10 camps in the nation and the only   segregation unit.

   Tule Lake became part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument created by President George W. Bush in December 2008.

   Hearings on the 15-year park management plan, which began in Tulelake and Klamath Falls in June, have since been conducted in Washington, Portland and Hood River.

   Upcoming meetings are July 24 in Los Angeles, July 25, in Carson, July 27 in San Diego. Another round of California meetings are scheduled Sept. 5 in Los Angeles, Sept. 17 in Sacramento, Sept. 18 in Berkeley, Sept. 19 in San Francisco and Sept. 24 in San Jose.

   Reynolds said common themes have been expressed at the meetings, including a need to complete oral interviews with people held at Tule Lake because most survivors are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. Participants also have expressed a desire to have some sort of onsite visitor center/information center located at Newell.

   Although the Tule Lake Unitís focus has been on 44 acres that were part of the former detention segregation center near present day Newell, Reynolds notes the unit also includes a 1,293-acre tract of land at The Peninsula/ Castle Rock that is closed to the public, and the 66-acre Camp Tulelake, a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp where Japanese Americans along with Italian and German prisoners of war were held during WWII.

    lee@heraldandnews.com  

 

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