During the course of preliminary planning, the study team examined 10 variations of management concepts, their pros and cons, the impacts of variations, costs involved in the development and operation of a memorial, and how any recommendations would fit into the memorial being developed by BIJAC. The options ranged in scope from no federal involvement called the "no action" concept because the federal government would not be involved in the project, to state involvement, to a National Heritage Area or National Reserve, and to becoming a unit of the National Park System.
During the development of the Alternatives, "viability" became the standard of measure. Measures of viability for the study team were: types and levels of visitor experiences at the site; protection of the resources (both natural and cultural); operational considerations, including maintaining local involvement in the management of the site; and issues of national significance, feasibility and suitability.
Eight study team meetings were held to outline and discuss what could be reasonable approaches for the site's long-term management. The approaches were reduced to three thoroughly examined alternatives. The three alternatives are presented in this newsletter.
An Environmental Assessment for the alternatives was prepared by NPS consultant Jones & Stokes to examine the impacts of these alternatives on the natural resources, cultural resources, and socioeconomic conditions. The assessment indicated the cultural resources would be positively affected; construction of the memorial would affect natural resources, and the socioeconomic conditions would improve slightly from alternative to alternative.
* indicates the current step in the planning process
Step 1. Define Purpose and Need for Study-Summer 2003
Step 2. Conduct Public Scoping- Autumn 2003
Step 3. Develop and Refine Management Alternatives- Winter 2004-Winter 2005
Step 4. Identify Environmental Impacts- Winter 2004-Winter 2005
Step 5. Prepare Draft Study and Environmental Assessment- Winter 2005-Spring 2005
Step 6. Public Review of Draft Study and Environmental Assessment-Spring 2005
Step 7. Analysis of Public Comment- Summer 2005
Step 8. Prepare Final Study and Environmental Assessment- Summer 2005-Autumn 2005
Step 9. Submit Final Study and Environmental Assessment to Congress- Autumn 2005
Step 10. Release Final Study and Environmental Assessment Spring 2006 *
The memorial proposed by the Bainbridge Island World War II Nikkei Internment and Exclusion Memorial Committee, when completed, would form the basis for each alternative. Under current planning, the memorial would be constructed in two phases. The first would involve clearing the site and constructing an interpretive kiosk. The second phase would focus on the construction of memorial elements: a story wall honoring the Nikkei families from Bainbridge Island, a visitor contact facility, interpretive trails, and other site features.
The first management alternative, Alternative A, recommends that no action be undertaken by the federal government in this project. However, the memorial would have the potential for future technical assistance from the National Park Service.
Alternative B recommends that the memorial be designated as an affiliated area of the National Park System. Under this designation, the memorial would receive increased consideration for technical assistance from the NPS, including the potential for support for developing exhibits and other interpretive materials.
The third alternative, Alternative C, proposes designating the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial site as a satellite unit of Minidoka Internment National Monument with cooperative management ties to Manzanar National Historic Site. Under this alternative, the NPS would be authorized to participate and contribute to the Phase II development costs and augment the memorial's operational expenses. The NPS would participate as a full partner with the local government and organizations to protect the site and interpret the story of the interned Nikkei from Bainbridge Island.
The NPS has indicated that formal actions on any of the proposed alternatives are at the discretion of Congress.