Camp Amache Takes New Step to Become National Park


Congressman Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, introduced bipartisan legislation to designate Amache, a former Japanese American relocation center in Granada, Colorado as a National Park.

The Amache National Historic Act (H.R. 2497) follows up on the Amache Study Act, introduced by Rep. Buck and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), which was included in the Dingell Conservation Act and signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2019. This bill directed the Department of Interior to conduct a special resource study at Amache to assess the historical significance of Amache and determine the feasibility of Amache becoming a part of the National Park System.

The Granada Relocation Center, known as Amache, was one of the 10 incarceration centers across the U.S. forcing Japanese Americans to relocate into military-style prisons during the first months of World War II. About 10,000 Japanese Americans passed through Amache and 7,000 were imprisoned there.

According to the National Park Service, “the cemetery, a reservoir, a water well and tank, the road network, concrete foundations, watch towers, the military police compound, and trees planted by the internees still remain.”

Reps. Buck and Neguse and several members of the community made the following statements upon introduction of the bill:
“I am proud to introduce the Amache National Historic Act with Rep. Neguse because it is so important that we remember the injustices committed against Japanese Americans,” Congressman Ken Buck said. “The nation is better today because of the lessons we have learned from our past. Preserving Amache serves as one of those hard lessons for the people of Eastern Colorado and the rest of our nation.”

“The unjustifiable internment of Japanese Americans is no doubt one of the darkest scars in our country’s history. With the Amache site in Colorado, it is also a deeply personal history for Colorado,” Congressman Joe Neguse said. “Designation of the Amache site in southeast Colorado as a National Park, will provide education for future generations on this dark time in our nation’s history, as well as healing and honor to those that lived it. It is our hope that preservation of this site will provide reconciliation for our communities and for the nation.”

“I hope that Congress will pass the Amache legislation to build on Congress’s bipartisan leadership to acknowledge that what happened to Japanese Americans was wrong and to help us live as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” Mike Honda, former member of Congress and Amache survivor, said.

“We strongly support the Amache National Historic Site Act. This legislation will preserve and memorialize a site that has the power to shed light upon a mistake we must remember, recall the service and sacrifice of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and celebrate the Constitutional vision of Colorado Governor Ralph Carr. All these things are worthy of doing and doing so will make us better American Citizens,” Calvin Taro Hada, president of the Japanese American Association of Colorado, said.

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