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Contact: Ben West
Contact: Charles Lawson
The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce it has begun a special resource study of the Ocmulgee River Corridor to evaluate its potential for designation as a national park unit. The NPS invites the public to comment. On March 12, 2019 the President signed Public Law 116-9; the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act; directing the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the Ocmulgee River corridor between Macon and Hawkinsville, Georgia. The purpose of this special resource study is to gather public input and historic, cultural, and environmental information about the river corridor in order to evaluate the area’s potential for inclusion into the national park system.
The NPS is hosting two virtual public meetings regarding the special resource study of the Ocmulgee River Corridor, to take place Tuesday, February 16: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ET and Wednesday, February 17: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET. Links to join the virtual meetings may be accessed via the project website: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/OcmulgeeRiver.
At these virtual meetings, the NPS team will share information about the special resource study process, including the criteria used to evaluate a site for inclusion in the national park system, and answer questions from those in attendance. The meeting presentations from the NPS team will be identical, and interested parties are encouraged to attend the time most convenient.
After reviewing information available on the project website, and/or attending one of the virtual meetings, interested parties and the general public are encouraged to submit comments on the special resource study either online via the project website or by mail to the following address: --more--National Park ServiceDenver Service Center Attn: Ocmulgee River Corridor SRS12795 West Alameda Parkway PO Box 25287 Denver, CO 80225-0287The National Park Service values input from the public, and comments will be accepted through March 26, 2021. Feedback from communities and stakeholders helps inform the National Park Service’s evaluation of the area’s potential for inclusion into the national park system. Additionally, gauging the level of local and general public support is an important part of the study process. The study findings – which are reported to Congress through the U.S. Secretary of the Interior – will center on the area’s national significance, suitability, feasibility and need for direct NPS management. It is anticipated that this special resource study will take place over the next two years, depending on the findings.The study area incorporates a corridor of approximately 50 river miles touching the Georgia counties of Bibb, Twiggs, Houston, Bleckley, and Pulaski. Major public land holdings in the area include Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park; the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge; Robins Air Force Base; and the Echeconnee Creek, Oaky Woods, and Ocmulgee State Wildlife Management Areas. There are also several public river landings. Much of the property in the study area is undeveloped, whether it is in private or public ownership.The river corridor includes a rich human history, with archaeological resources dating from the Paleoindian Period through World War II. Particularly significant are extensive American Indian resources including Mississippian mound sites, and sites associated with Muscogee Creek heritage and history. The river corridor is comprised mostly of bottomland hardwood forest and swamp, with some upland forest in the terraces above the floodplain. Diverse wildlife in the area include black bears, white-tailed deer, wood ducks, alligators, wild turkeys, and many species of waterfowl.More information about the study can be found at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/OcmulgeeRiver
Last updated: January 26, 2021