Charting the Future of the Tule Lake Site

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Abalone Mountain to those who lived in the segregation center, Horse Mountain to those who live in the area today, this mountain figures prominently in much of the art from the Tule Lake segregation center.

By MIKE NEWELL, Superintendent, Tule Lake Unit, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument

You are invited to join us in charting the future of the Tule Lake Unit of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument for the next 20 years.

The Tule Lake Unit, in rural Newell, Calif., preserves a landscape through which the public can discover the impact World War II had on thousands of Japanese Americans, the local community, and our understanding of civil liberties for all Americans.

Visitors to Tule Lake are often surprised to discover what occurred here, and some feel a haunting and spiritual connection to this place. Many believe the power of Tule Lake rests with the historical events and personal stories that unfolded here over 70 years ago. Already, the site’s designation as a National Historic Landmark is a tribute to the incredible stories of Tule Lake.

The National Park Service is dedicated to preserving the sites and stories of the past so we may continue to learn valuable lessons from them long into the future. While the historic buildings and landscape are evidence of the past, your help is needed in identifying how Tule Lake’s history is relevant today and how to share this history with visitors.

Breathing life into the historic structures and landscape through first-person accounts, enlightening interpretation, and improved access to the site will enable the public to more fully understand the significance of Tule Lake’s history.

As a new unit, there is no comprehensive plan for Tule Lake, and the National Park Service faces many issues and challenges for its future management. The most overarching issues are how to interpret what occurred at Tule Lake and how to ensure that visitors have meaningful experiences at Tule Lake tied to its history.

In addition, planning will also address the preservation of the unit’s historic features and landscapes, its internal and adjacent boundaries, and how its areas could be developed for greater public access.

We are especially fortunate to be guided in the planning process by the invaluable insight and inspiration of many individuals and groups closely tied to this story. We have communicated with many of you already, and we look forward to engaging new individuals and groups in the development of a comprehensive and long-term plan for Tule Lake.

This is your opportunity to help create a vision for the future of Tule Lake. We are asking for your help and ideas as we develop the general management plan. Starting in June, the National Park Service will host public workshops in California, Oregon, Washington, and online. We sincerely hope you will join us at one of these workshops to meet the planning team and share your ideas, concerns, and thoughts about Tule Lake.

If you cannot attend a workshop, there are several other ways to provide comments and participate in the planning process. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us at any time.

Your input is essential. Let us all join together in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration as we go forward.

Public Meetings

• Tuesday, June 18, 6 to 8 p.m.

Tulelake High School, 850 Main St., Tulelake

• Wednesday, June 19, 6 to 8 p.m.

Ross Ragland Cultural Center, 218 N. 7th St., Klamath Falls, Ore.

• Monday, July 1, 6 to 8 p.m.

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, 121 NW 2nd Ave., Portland, Ore.

• Tuesday, July 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hood River Public Library, 502 W. State St., Hood River, Ore.

• Tuesday, July 2, 6 to 8 p.m.

White River Valley Museum, 918 H St. SE, Auburn, Wash.

• Wednesday, July 3, 4 to 6 p.m. 

Japanese Community Cultural Center, 1414 S. Weller St., Seattle

• Friday, July 5, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity Conference

Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 Sixth Ave., Seattle

• Wednesday, July 24, 6 to 8 p.m. 

Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Suite 505, Los Angeles

• Thursday, July 25, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

CSU Dominguez Hills Library, South Wing, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

• Friday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.   

Thornton Theatre, San Diego History Center, 1649 El Prado, San Diego

• Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  

Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Suite 505, Los Angeles

• Thursday, Sept. 5, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Virtual meeting

• Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6 to 8 p.m. 

Sierra II Center, 2791 24th St., Sacramento 

• Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6 to 8 p.m. 

David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley

• Thursday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco

• Thursday, Sept. 19, 6 to 8 p.m.  

Japanese American Museum of San Jose, 535 N. 5th St., San Jose

• Tuesday, Sept. 24, 3 to 5 p.m.  

Virtual meeting

Web access information for the virtual meetings will be posted on the Tule Lake websites and Facebook page, and widely announced.

Contact Information

Mail: National Park Service, Pacific West Region – Planning Division, 909 First Ave. Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98104

Website: www.nps.gov/tule

Email: [email protected]

Phone: Superintendent Mike Reynolds, (530) 667-8101; Project Manager Anna Tamura, (206) 220-4157

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