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April 2000
Board And Park Meetings

On March 1, 2000, representatives of Sequoia National Park met with representatives of the Mineral King Preservation Society and Mineral King District Association to explore joint responsibility for the management and preservation of the Mineral King Historic District.

Such a proposed cooperative effort is intended to serve until the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park General Management Plan is completed. At that time a new relationship in conformance with the GMP will be formulated. However, any agreements developed in this interim period would serve as a foundation and might continue to have validity and logically be renewed.

Two committees would be formed to create this foundation. One is a preservation architectural review committee to assist in community conformance to National Register guidelines governing the architectural historic integrity of the cabins. This would be composed of five or six members of the Mineral King/Cabin Cove community and one or more National Park Service staff members.

While the park is ultimately responsible for the preservation and management of all historic resources within its boundaries, it is interested in creating guidelines with the cooperation of the Mineral King community that would be administered by the architectural review committee.

It was proposed that a memorandum of agreement be drawn indicating what the park will do and what the Mineral King Preservation Society will do in these cooperative efforts. It also would confirm that the cabin permittees authorize the Mineral King Preservation Society and Mineral King District Association to officially represent them.

Park representatives confirmed that the National Register listing is instrumental to park planning. Value has been added to the cabins by the approval of the National Register Determination of Eligibility. Cabins deemed to be non-contributing in the DOE are none-the-less part of the broad historic landscape being preserved and its significance requires that it remain the same in its entirety as it is today. Therefore, conformance to the National Register guidelines by the entire cabin community is crucial.

The second committee would be formed to provide interpretive functions for the Mineral King Historic District. It would consist of five or six community members to work with park representatives. Individuals participating would become members of the Volunteers in Parks program.

Suggested functions would include geological, cultural and natural history interpretation of the Mineral King Valley. Possible activities might include historic displays; revamping of the nature trail; a self-guided walk of the valley with a brochure describing the cabins as well as historic, natural and geologic features; a self guided Mineral King road tour with a brochure listing historic points of interest; campfire stories by community members; open-house cabin tours; additional staffing of the Alles cabin; and community volunteers to help at the ranger station.

Recognizing the importance of creating a foundation for the proposed cooperative management of the Mineral King Historic District, members of the Mineral King District Association and the Mineral King Preservation Society boards of directors held a joint meeting in Visalia on April 1, 2000. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Mineral King community's role in such a district.

A poll of all cabin lessees and their families was agreed upon to determine a solid consensus of support for the proposed cooperative efforts with the park. Any cooperative programs and committee functions will be guided by the outcome of this poll and will be directed by the two boards.

Another meeting is scheduled for committee discussions on April 25. The agenda is further clarification of what the park and Mineral King organizations envision for cabin conformance and interpretation activities.