||The National Park Service is preparing this Draft Master Plan and Environmental
Assessment (Environmental Assessment) to establish clear direction for the future use and rehabilitation of the East and South Barracks at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (NHS). As the early terminus of the historic Oregon Trail, these historic military barracks and their grounds represent critical aspects of the history of settling the Pacific Northwest and the United States. These resources tell nationally significant stories about American Indian history and culture, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), and more than 160 years of continuous U.S. military occupation.
In 2011, the U.S. Army will relinquish, and ownership of the East and South Barracks will transfer to the National Park Service, including the lands, buildings, and other improvements. This change will effectively end the longstanding military presence at the Vancouver Barracks, which was the first major U.S. Army post in the Pacific Northwest. At this important moment in the evolving history of the site, it is of the utmost importance that the National Park Service carefully plans for the preservation and reuse of the East and South Vancouver Barracks as part of an urban national park site.
The U.S. Department of Defense currently maintains management responsibility of the East and South Barracks for use by the U.S. Army. However, the U.S. Army has ceased its operations at Vancouver Barracks and is relinquishing ownership of the East and South Barracks to the National Park Service, in accordance with the 1961 legislation and the U.S. Department of Defense 2005 Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission recommendations. The National Park Service will assume responsibility for an additional 33 acres of land, featuring a variety of cultural and natural resources.