Tule Lake Historical Site May be Under Threat

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A plan to fence off Tule Lake, the involuntary home of nearly 19,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned during WWII has raised fears the historical site will be endangered.

The Herald and News reports Modoc County has proposed building a 16,000 feet, eight feet tall perimeter around the nearby airport to keep wildlife off the runway.

“The fence is a desecration of a site we feel is spiritual, a site where people go to mourn, a site that is for remembrance,” said Barbara Takei, CFO of the Tule Lake Committee, said to the Sacramento Bee. “With the fence, we will be shut out from where our families lived and permanently reminded of the racism and hostility that put us there in the first place.”

Negotiations around the fence lasted 18 months and ended with no agreement. The county is currently seeking public comment and those interested have until October 10 to submit those comments..

More information about how to send in your opinions can be found on Facebook.

“I think there’s a need for everyone to come to the table and see how we can move forward,” said Mike Ishi, another member of the Tule Lake Committee. “We’re not trying to destroy people’s livelihoods. I try to stay very open and sensitive to the local perspective. But this is a site that has international importance. People come from all over the world to see that site.”

Those who support the fence have been critical of those opponents who have implied they have racist motives.

“We’re not trying to keep people out. We’re trying to keep people safe,” said Nick Macy of Macy’s Flying Service.

If approved, the earliest the fence would be built is October 2019.