In January 2011, the National Park Service held a closed, multi-day, secret conference at Sandy Hook.  More than a dozen National Park Service selected, supposed experts were in attendance.  The NPS’s purported, stated purpose for this meeting was to “brain storm” how to best rectify the long time, ongoing problem of the disgraceful deterioration that the Ft. Hancock buildings have been experiencing for the past 36 years, under the questionable stewardship of the National Park Service.

This meeting was held about two months after the disastrous James Wassel/Sandy Hook Partners’, 60 year lease was terminated in late November 2010 by the National Park Service.

When the occurrence of this furtive conference became known, the NPS was confronted by the news media.  They asked the NPS who the attendees were, their qualifications, topics discussed and the suggested solutions proposed for the deteriorating Ft. Hancock buildings.

The NPS (without explanation) declined to provide the requested information to the newspapers, but promised to do so in the near future, no later than August 2011.

It is now September 2011.  More than half a year has passed and still the NPS has not kept its promise to release the data in question, associated with the January 2011 secret conference.

It is time for Congressman Pallone, and the news media to press the NPS to disclose the particulars of the closed conference.  The NPS should inform the public of what proposals are “on the table” for consideration.  In addition, the public needs to be permitted to comment on, and make changes to them, before said plans are finalized and initiated.

It must always be remembered that Ft. Hancock, Sandy Hook, and all national park lands are owned by the citizens of the United States, not the National Park Service.


Peter P. O’Such, Jr.
Fair Haven, New Jersey

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...