Press Release Mar 18, 2022

Victory: President Biden, Parks Leaders Welcome Amache National Historic Site

"By preserving Amache, we can ensure that as a country we confront our mistakes, honor the stories of those who were unjustly imprisoned, and protect the site for future generations" -- NPCA's President and CEO Theresa Pierno

WASHINGTON –National Parks Conservation Association President and CEO Theresa Pierno joined elected officials and conservation leaders today for a special ceremony as President Biden signed the Amache National Historic Site Act into law. Biden’s approval of the bipartisan bill allows for a new national park site to help preserve, protect, and interpret the Granada War Relocation Center in Colorado, known as Amache, where Japanese Americans were unconstitutionally incarcerated during World War II.

Unanimous Senate and House passage of the bipartisan legislation in February led to today’s victory, long waged by survivors, descendants and advocates.

Statement by National Parks Conservation Association President and CEO Theresa Pierno

“It is an honor to join President Biden at the White House today to welcome Amache National Historic Site into our park system. Our national park sites include wide open wild spaces, as well as places that represent some of our country’s most important history. Not all stories they tell are easy to hear, like those of Amache, but perhaps those are the stories we as a nation need to hear most. By preserving Amache, we can ensure that as a country we confront our mistakes, honor the stories of those who were unjustly imprisoned, and protect the site for future generations.

“NPCA and so many others in Colorado and across the country came together with Japanese American incarceration survivors and descendants, community members, and elected officials to help make today’s victory a reality. I am proud to stand alongside many of these partners today and carry so many others with me. This is an important legacy we leave those who will come long after us.”

Statement by NPCA’s Colorado Senior Program Manager Tracy Coppola

“We are forever grateful to President Biden, Secretary Haaland, Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, and Congressmen Neguse and Buck for leading and supporting this critical opportunity for America to respect, honor, and heal at Amache. We honor the Amache descendants, the Amache Preservation Society, the Town of Granada, the National Park Service, and the many storytellers, historians, civil rights and military veteran groups, offices of tourism, preservation offices, county commissioners and other local elected officials who we worked alongside in seeing this through. Most of all, this moment stands on the shoulders of giants – the Amache survivors, who, with incredible generosity and strength, have waited for this day for so long, and whose stories will now be revealed and remembered.”

# # #

Additional comments from Amache supporters.

About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.

Read more from NPCA

  • Blog Post

    Celebrating the 'Book Man' of Washington, D.C.

    Feb 2024 | By Jennifer Errick

    The pioneering educator Carter G. Woodson founded the precursor to Black History Month in 1926. Though temporarily closed for renovations, the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site is scheduled…

  • Blog Post

    Learn About Black History in 11 Unexpected Places

    Feb 2024 | By Jennifer Errick, Linda Coutant

    These fascinating sites share important and often overlooked stories about people who shaped U.S. history and culture.

  • Blog Post

    6 Victories That Made 2023 a Spectacular Year for Parks

    Dec 2023 | By Chyla Anderson

    2023 marked incredible progress in protecting national parks. NPCA celebrates the many victories — some of which we won after decades of hard work by park advocates around the country.