Committee Holds Hearing on LaMalfa Tule Lake Historic Site Bill
Washington DC – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing on a bill Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-R) sponsored to create a National Historic Site on the location of a World War II internment camp. The measure, HR 4387, removes the location from the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and creates the Tule Lake National Historic Site. LaMalfa stated that he believed the location was distinct from the Pacific battlefields which make up the rest of the monument and should be recognized in its own right.
“This bill will recognize the shameful events that occurred at the Tule Lake Camp, where thousands of Japanese Americans were unconstitutionally detained. The Tule Lake National Historic Site will serve as a stark reminder that Americans must always be vigilant in the defense of their rights, during both peace and war,” said LaMalfa. “It also ensures that the historic site and local community work in tandem by requiring the Park Service to develop its management plan in cooperation with the adjacent airport, the City of Tulelake, and Modoc County. Finally, it gives local residents a voice moving forward by preventing any expansion of the site without the support of residents.
Modoc County resident Nick Macy, operator of the Tule Lake Airport adjacent to the existing monument, testified about the community’s support for recognizing the historic nature of the location and engaging local residents in future management of the site. The airport employs several dozen residents, making it one of the largest private employers in Modoc County. While some groups have advocated for significant expansion of the existing monument, the expansion proposals would result in the closure of the airport. HR 4387 prohibits any expansion of the Historic Site without written concurrence from the City of Tulelake and Modoc County.
“Our community has always supported telling the story of the men and women who were incarcerated, so that this wrong is never repeated. HR 4387 strikes a balance between respecting the events that took place at the Tule Lake camp and protecting the agricultural economy of the area’s 900 family farms,” Macy said.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.