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Preservation: Mineral King Mandate

The National Park Service increasingly is managing its historic properties through cooperative agreements with public and private organizations and individuals. In fact, there are thousands of partnership agreements with private and non-profit organizations within the administration of the National Park Service. Many are cooperative management plans for historic resources. Each such plan is an innovative, site specific agreement designed to enhance the historic qualities of the particular property or district.

Part Two: Development of a Preservation Plan

The Basis for a Cooperative Plan

Our preservation laws clearly mandate federal agencies to work in partnership with private organizations and individuals; to encourage the public and private preservation and utilization of all usable elements of historic building environments; to establish and implement alternatives for historic properties, including adaptive use; to lease a historic property owned by the agency to any person or organization; and to enter into contracts or make cooperative agreements

Some examples of National Park Service cooperative plans for historic properties:

BOSTON HARBOR ISLAND NATIONAL PARK, MASSACHUSETTS

As is Mineral King, Boston Harbor Island is a national park area of proprietary jurisdiction with state, county and city all retaining political and legal rights and the National Park Service exercising management authority . 13 different groups (public, non-profit and private) comprise a committee that administrates the park as the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. The National Park Service owns none of the land.

CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, OHIO

Like Mineral King, this is not a single site, but rather a historical/cultural landscape with several residences in which members or staff of non-profit groups live and maintain the structures. A cooperative initiative between the NPS and the non-profit Cuyahoga Valley Association is designed to "protect the park’s historical structures, broaden its biodiversity, enhance its scenic beauty, and increase its recreational/educational offerings" One of its distinguishing characteristics is that "It confronts park managers’ general bias against private ownership or long-term leases of property within park boundaries (and) demonstrates the inherent power of public/private partnerships to accomplish ends not achievable by either the public sector or private sector operating alone."

CAPE COD NATIONAL SEASHORE, MASSACHUSSETTS

Dune shacks are leased to private individuals and to a non-profit organization just as cabins are in Mineral King.

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

A precedent of deeding public lands to a private partner is in process in this park. A new National Park Service partnership agreement with the Timbesha Shoshone Tribe combines tribal acquisition of public land with broad management powers. It allows the Timbesha to have their own land and develop it, but sets limits on how much can be built.

GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, CALIFORNIA

Agreements with 9 separate organizations "foster public commitment to preserving the San Francisco Presidio’s natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resource values (and) provide educational opportunities for visitors to increase environmental and cultural awareness." Special use permits are granted for buildings within the recreation area.

WILSONIA HISTORIC DISTRICT, SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

The Wilsonia Historic District Trust has been set up to work in partnership with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks administration. An agreement is being developed for the Trust to maintain and open to use historic Park Service owned properties in the district.

Next: Preservation, Mineral King Mandate, Part Three
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