Former cultural resources manager a ‘preservation hero’

The former manager of NAS Whidbey Island Cultural Resources, a department at the base, was recently named a “preservation hero” by the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, or DAHP.

It’s not the first recognition for Kendall Campbell, who was head of the department last year when it received the Chief of Naval Operations environmental award for cultural resources management at a large installation.

After 10 years at NAS Whidbey, she moved on to work with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Joe Kunzler, a local Navy advocate, nominated Campbell for the award, citing as an example her work in negotiating an agreement over cement blocks at Outlying Field Coupeville. The row of blocks, which are to help secure the field, were ruled by DAHP as having an “adverse effect” on the neighboring Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

The result was the camouflaging of the blocks with a hedgerow of Oregon grape, Nootka rose and snowberries.

In addition, Campbell agreed to create a report on the historical legacy of OLF Coupeville.

In the award last year, the Navy noted Campbell’s work in preserving historic buildings and farmhouses on base property. Some were updated in a manner that preserved their historical integrity while eight farmhouses in Clover Valley were offered to the community for free.

She also worked with 50 different tribes for the Northwest Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement process.

In its announcement, DAHP explained that Campbell was responsible for managing NAS Whidbey’s mandate to identify and protect significant archaeological, cultural and historic properties.

It’s a complicated job.

“This role requires interpreting and implementing complicated regulations and procedures; working closely with the public, Tribal governments, and the State Historic Preservation Officer; all while balancing a mandate to protect cultural resources with the Navy and WINAS defense mission,” DAHP stated.

“This responsibility occasionally landed Kendall in the middle of difficult debates and contentious issues.”

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