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MPNHP Field Team 'Clearly Saved Best Site For Last'

on June 7, 2015 - 3:47pm

MPNHP Field Team leader Arthur Knox wowed the crowd Tuesday at Fuller Lodge when he said, 'This is our team's third stop on the tour of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park sites ... it is clear that we saved the best for last.' Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos County Council Chair Kristin Henderson, center, presents the Keys to the County to MPNHP Field Team leader Arthur Knox and DOE Under Secretary Laurie Morman. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) Field Team comprised of representatives from the Department of Energy and National Park Service visited Los Alamos June 2-4.

The three-day site visit included tours of historic buildings, as well as high-profile public and stakeholder meetings.

At Tuesday’s public meeting and reception at Fuller Lodge, National Park Service Deputy Regional Director Victor Knox wowed the crowd of some 300 people when he said, “This is our team's third stop on the tour of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park sites ... it is clear that we saved the best for last.”

The joint DOE/NPS field team spent March 24-26 in Oak Ridge in the first of their three site visits. They took a day-long tour of the Oak Ridge Reservation’s three sites, visiting the “eligible areas” for inclusion in the park as cited in the Defense act. The team also had the opportunity to meet and get to know the community and its leaders.

The Field Team visited the Hanford site April 14-16, touring the B Reactor and Pre-Manhattan Project eligible areas. The group also toured the T Plant processing canyon along with current and former workers. The team met with the community, local officials, and the four area Tribes.

Knox is over park planning, facilities and lands for the National Park Service and is serving as the lead on the MPNHP Field Team.

“The development of the atomic bomb by the Manhattan Project changed the history of the US and the world,” Knox said. “The story of the Manhattan Project is a complex story of incredible scientific achievement, unbelievable engineering accomplishments and of men and women who endured multiple hardships in secret to win the war.”

The use of the atomic bomb brought a swift end to WWII and horrific tragedies to the lives of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Knox said, adding that the legacy of nuclear weapons and atomic energy continues to be debated worldwide to this day, as they are technologies that bring both tremendous benefits and risks to the world, he said.

“The NPS is America’s storyteller. We tell the story of our country’s great triumphs as well as those things we aren’t so proud of such as slavery, Japanese internment in WWII and massacres of American Indians,” Knox said. “We are committed to telling the story in all its complexity and controversy and to each person who visits the park reach their own conclusions about the Manhattan project and the atomic age it started.”

Knox explained that the MPNHP will be a partnership park and in order for it to be successful, it will take the combined efforts of the NPS, DOE, local communities and preservation advocates.

“The NPS plans to build on all the great work that is taking place to tell the Manhattan Project story, he said. “We plan to support and expand all the work you are already doing – not replace it.”

Officials also making brief statements at Tuesday’ event include NNSA’s Los Alamos Field Office Manager Kim Davis Lebak, LANL’s Associate Director for Global Security Terry Wallace, Sen. Martin Heinrich's Field Rep. Katie Richardson read a letter on behalf of New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation in support of the MPNHP, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, New Mexico Historic Preservation Officer Jeff Pappas, DOE Under Secretary for Management and Performance Laurie Morman and NPS Deputy Director of Operations Peggy O’Dell.

The next steps to stand up the MPNHP include:

  • Complete the agreement between the NPS and DOE that depicts each agency’s respective roles in managing the new park. The agreement has been drafted and undergone initial legal review and the draft agreement will be posted for comment from park stakeholders in a month or so; and
  • Develop plans for park operations, enhancements of public access and the protection of historic resources and identify the major interpretive themes to best convey the story of the Manhattan Project.

“Our NPS team is here in Los Alamos not only to learn about the Manhattan Project historic resources, but also to learn from you,” Knox said. “We want to hear your hopes, dreams and ideas for this new national park as we develop the management agreement with DOE and begin initial park planning….”

Knox congratulated the people of Los Alamos saying that every national park in the country has been established through the grassroots efforts of local communities and preservation advocates.

“Many of you here today have been part of that effort to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park … congratulations – you did it!”

Learn more about the MPNHP and access Thursday's powerpoint presention to the Field Team by the MPNHP Committee here.

Tuesday's event drew some 300 people to the lawn behind Fuller Lodge. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

LAPS Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus, shading his eyes, and PEEC co-founder/Living Treasure Becky Shankland, in pink, were among the notables gathered for Tuesday's event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

People of all ages turned out for Tuesday's event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Mountain Elementary School students perform 'Working on the Hill' during Tuesday's event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Associate Diretor for Global Security Terry Wallace expresses support for the MPNHP on behalf of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Lt. Gov. John Sanchez tells the crowd that wherever he travels in the world he encounters people who know about Los Alamos and its important history. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

NPS Deputy Director For Operations Peggy O'Dell oversees a $3 billion budget. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Referencing the enthusiastic treatment the field team has received during visits to the three MPNHP sites, DOE Under Secretary for Management and Performance Laurie Morman told the crowd, 'It's amazing to feel like rock stars everywhere we go ... the park service has brought a dynamite team to this effort.' Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The crowd applauds as New Mexico State Historic Preservation Officer Jeff Pappas recognizes the WWII veterans in attendance at Tuesday's event. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Booths featuring Los Alamos organizations fill the lawn at Fuller Lodge. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Poster boards featuring properties included in the Manhattan Project National Historical Park are set up in the lobby at Fuller Lodge. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The County collected 100 comments and suggestions written by Los Alamos residents on post cards and presented them in a large envelope to the MPNHP Field Team. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

MPNHP Field Team pose with Oppenheimer and Groves statutes outside Fuller Lodge Art Center. Photo by Leslie Bucklin


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