Pursuant to a directive signed by the Regional Director on January 23, 1975, a planning team assembled for the purpose of evaluating the adequacy of the existing master plan (approved 1966) in meeting the public interest at Fort Larned National Historic Site. Upon a review of the master plan and the conditions faced at Fort Larned, it was determined that a revised master plan would be undertaken. The following conditions were responsible for this determination:
1. Developments proposed under the 1966 plan have been only partially undertaken, but funds expended will soon reach the appropriations ceiling. A revised master plan is necessary in order to support legislation authorizing an increase in the ceiling, and at the same time to review the full measure of development needs at Fort Larned. Public Law 94-578, dated October 21, 1976, increased the ceiling by $3,000,000 to a total of $4,273,000.
2. The condition of the historic structures has deteriorated rapidly since the original master plan was prepared. Earlier planning had assumed that the preservation need could be accommodated in the schedule of restoration and other development.
This has proved not to be the case, in part due to limitations in funding and to a growing realization that conditions were worse than earlier believed. A comprehensive stabilization program was initiated and is now underway. Completion of this program is expected in 1979.
3. The 1966 plan was prepared in advance of most of the historical, architectural, and archeological research on the Fort. One or two years of research, concentrated on finding available records and information on Fort Larned, is still required. Limited research has revealed that levels of information on the several historic structures, including their use potential, can vary within a wide scale from little to nearly complete. The 1966 plan called for "restoration" of historic structures (and reconstruction of at least one) without a clear definition of what was implied, without providing for all public and administrative needs, and without assurance that the same level of treatment was appropriate to Management Policies when applied to every structure.
4. In regard to the Santa Fe Trail Ruts Detached Area, concerns have been raised about the possible degradation of natural and historic features due to human intervention in natural processes.
5. The 1966 plan advanced proposals (such as vista clearing) now regarded as undesirable in dealing with a historic place. Established procedures for protection of historic resources must be reviewed to develop measures consistent with current principles of historic preservation.
Last Updated: 14-Aug-2009