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WCNY to present War of 1812 battlefield preservation documentary tonight at 9 on WCNY

WCNY will present “Losing Ground: The Race to Preserve War of 1812 Battlefields in New York State,” tonight at 9 on WCNY. The WCNY-produced documentary brings together some of the nation’s foremost War of 1812 experts to reflect on preserving War of 1812 sites for future generations.

The program re-airs 7 p.m. Feb. 16 on WCNY, 2 p.m. Feb. 17 on WCNY, 7 p.m. Feb. 17 on World and 9 p.m. Feb. 23 on World.

The documentary is hosted by Timothy Davis-Reed, a veteran of more than 150 episodes of series television, including six seasons as White House press reporter Mark O’Donnell on the Emmy-winning hit “The West Wing” and two seasons as a series regular on “Sports Night.”

Now 200 years later, celebrations across New York state and Canada commemorate the veterans and battlefields of the War of 1812. But with each passing year, there is less and less physical evidence of this significant part of New York history. As the population grows and unchecked development expands, preservationist worry that the lands that played a vital role in U.S. history are disappearing at an alarming rate. Once they are gone, so too are the opportunities of enrichment for generations of future Americans.

Top battlefield archaeologists walk through the hollowed grounds and their insight shows invisible secrets hidden just below the surface of the front lines that will help to safeguard and preserve significant American battlefield lands in New York.

From Oswego to Plattsburgh, and Ogdensburg to Sackets Harbor, modern-day experts including Dr. Alan Taylor, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, James Lighthizer, president, Civil War Trust, Keith Herkalo, author, historian and president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association, Matthew Kirk, archaeologist and New York Council for the Humanities speaker, Barbara O’Keefe, President, Ogdensburg’s Fort La Presentation Association, Paul Lear, site manager at Fort Ontario State Historic Site and Constance B. Barone, site manager, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Historic Site, share how they are working to keep history alive.

The documentary is produced by Amy Manley, an Emmy Award-winning WCNY producer/director.

For more information about the documentary, visit wcny.org/losing-ground.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

The documentary is funded by a grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. Federal, state, local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations and educational institutions are eligible for National Park Service battlefield grants, which are awarded annually. Additional information is available at www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp.

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