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Copyright vEsti24
Mar 12 2010
Draft Fort Abercrombie Preservation Plan Introduced PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 March 2010

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             Last night a draft preservation plan for the Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park was introduced during a public meeting. Around 30 people attended the event which took place at the Bayside fire station and was put on by Alaska's Office of History and Archaeology. The OHA is part of the state Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Last night, after an overview of the draft plan was presented, the meeting was opened for questions and then for public comment.

            One of the meeting facilitators was Doug Gessick who is the state architectural historian.

--          (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 1                      :24                               "Our main goal ... they're interpreted.")

           The Fort Abercrombie preservation plan has been in development since 2008. At that time, it was determined that preservation plans were needed to fulfill the ten year strategic goals of the state park system. Those goals call for a proactive approach to the stewardship of Alaska's cultural, ecological, scenic and scientific assets.

            The Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park Preservation Plan is the first of four preservation plans being developed for national Historic Landmarks in the state.

            The increasingly popular Kodiak Military History Museum is located in the park but is not a part of the state parks department. The museum was created and is run by volunteers, including the museum director, Dave Osslin.


--          (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 2                      :22                   "I'm excited that ... make this happen.")


A lively discussion about the park took place after the preservation plan was introduced. The opinions in the group were diverse, but a strong interest in preserving the history and the beauty of the park were common threads among those that spoke at the meeting.

Another meeting about Fort Abercrombie will be held on Tuesday at the high school. That meeting will feature a presentation about the proposed addition of a bus turn around and a parking lot to the North of where the Miller Point campground is located. Those controversial changes are intended to improve safety and access to the historical sites at the park including the museum. Those development plans were NOT the topic of the preservation plan meeting, but for many, the issues were on the forefront of last night's discussion.

Museum director Osslin said that he thinks preserving the history of the park is the most pressing issue.


--          (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 3                      :24                               "The parking lot ... future generations.")


            Historical architect Gessick said the comments given last night will now be reviewed and considered.


--          (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 4                      :21                                           "We just wanted ... next week.")


            Fort Abercrombie was the site of a military outpost during World War Two. The fort was abandoned after the war and became a part of the Alaska state park system in 1969. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1985. Abercrombie was one of a cluster of World War Two sites on Kodiak Island and part of the country's first line of defense along with naval bases at Sitka and Dutch harbor.  

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