(NPS/DOE) The National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Energy are inviting the public to review and comment on the Draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the National Park Service and the Department of Energy (DOE) that will guide the operation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act established the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and required the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Energy to create a Memorandum of Agreement for the park by December 19, 2015. Once signed, this agreement will formally establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and describe how the National Park Service and the Department of Energy will work together to preserve, protect and provide access to the historic resources associated with the Manhattan Project.
Over the past several months, a team of National Park Service and Department of Energy officials traveled to the three Manhattan Project Park locations in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the Hanford Site in Washington State. The team met with local elected officials, participated in open houses, and talked with community members and area Tribes to understand local perspectives on how the new park should be managed. Building on this effort, the draft Memorandum of Agreement provides a high level framework that will guide the cooperative efforts of the National Park Service and the Department of Energy to manage the park.
The National Park Service will designate a site manager for each location who will coordinate with the local Department of Energy staff, Tribes, community members and partners in the area. The site managers will report to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park�s superintendent, who will be located in an NPS central office location, likely Denver, Colorado. Each site will have similar levels of staffing as park operations grow over the years.
The agreement will not include details about the park�s interpretive themes, visitor contact stations, staffing, management, or specifics about what eligible properties outside the Department of Energy properties should be included in the park. Those issues will be addressed in future phases of the planning efforts. The project team recognized the importance of telling the larger story of the Manhattan Project in a cohesive manner across the three identified locations.
A draft of the agreement is available online for review, and the agencies will collect comments on the draft between July 28 and August 28, 2015. Comments can be submitted online by clicking on the “Open for Comment” link on the left side of the page and selecting the “Comment on Document” option (Link:http://parkplanning.nps.gov/MPNHP ). Comments also can be mailed to:
NPS Denver Service Center
Attn: Tracy Atkins
Project Manager Manhattan Project National Historical Park
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
After the comments on the document are received and reviewed, the Memorandum of Agreement will be finalized and signed by the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Energy. Once that document is signed, the park will become an official part of the National Park System.