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Contact: Holly Bundock NPS Pacific West Region, 510.817.1325
Public Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, September 18
The National Park Service is seeking public comments on draft criteria that will guide a multi-million dollar federal program to conserve and maintain World War II – era Japanese American confinement sites. The first of 18 public meetings begin 2 p.m., Tuesday, September 18, 2007, in Las Vegas at the Manzanar High School Reunion which takes place in the California Hotel and Casino.
The grant program provides financial assistance to those protecting numerous confinement sites where the forced relocation of more than 110,000 men, women, and children, most of whom were American citizens of Japanese ancestry, occurred in 1942.
"The stories and struggles around national security and the protection of civil liberties associated with these confinement sites continues to resonate today," said Mary A. Bomar, Director of the National Park Service. "This is a great opportunity for people across the country to provide their thoughts about this new program and what criteria should be used to evaluate future grant proposals."
Federal legislation passed in 2006, authorizing the funding for the grants. Congressional appropriation of that funding is pending. The NPS seeks public comments to develop grant criteria to help assure that proposals will be objectively reviewed and funds address the most compelling and important issues.
The confinement sites are primarily located in the west, southwest, and Arkansas. A comprehensive list of the public meetings, including times and locations, as well as other general information about the newly authorized grant program is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkId=73. The public may also provide their comments on the grant program at this same website address on the "Open for Public Comment" link on the left side of the webpage. Comments will be accepted from now through October 28, 200