Wyckoff site could become national parkFederal officials laud the site for its significance and potential…

"The Wyckoff site on Eagle Harbor not only has historic significance, but may have so much recreational value that it warrants inclusion in the national park system.The site certainly has national significance, said Keith Dunbar, a regional planning team leader for the National Park Service, who toured the property Wednesday evening.The site is valuable not only as a community resource, but has regional and even national potential. "

  • Saturday, July 14, 2001 4:00pm
  • News

“The Wyckoff site on Eagle Harbor not only has historic significance, but may have so much recreational value that it warrants inclusion in the national park system.The site certainly has national significance, said Keith Dunbar, a regional planning team leader for the National Park Service, who toured the property Wednesday evening.The site is valuable not only as a community resource, but has regional and even national potential.The 50-acre site on the south shore of Eagle Harbor is currently being cleaned up by the Environmental Protection Agency to remove contamination left by the former creosote facility. A small portion at the west end of the site has been nominated for national landmark designation as the site where the island’s Japanese-Americans were evacuated in 1942. But that process does nothing to put any of the land into public ownership, which a citizen committee has recommended.And on that score, the NPS delegation suggested beginning the process of bringing the site into the national park system itself. As Dunbar explained, Congress ultimately decides what properties to include within the national park system.The first step is a study of the property. Congress again has to approve the study list, which is developed from nomination by congressmen or by the president.The overriding criterion is national significance. According to Bill Walters, deputy regional director of the park service, the landmark designation being sought would satisfy that requirement.If landmark status is approved, significance is established, he said. Dunbar said that the designation that might be used – whether national monument, recreation area, seashore or whatever – is decided fairly late in the process. And other management options are also explored.Sometimes, the decision is that a property should be a city park with federal technical assistance, he said. Sometimes it’s a state park, or sometimes a partnership arrangement.In order to get on the next list for possible designation as a study area, Walters said information would need to be compiled and submitted by early fall.Tomorrow morning is not too soon to begin, he said. “

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