• Support the Preservation of Ocmulgee River Corridor’s Historic Resources

    February 24, 2021

    Lands associated with the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park located near Macon, Georgia, have been home to Native Americans for more than 17,000 years. We at the National Trust for Historic Preservation have long advocated for conserving the Ocmulgee landscape, naming it a National Treasure in 2016.

    In March 2019, then-President Trump signed into law the most significant public lands package in more than a decade, including legislation expanding and redesignating the Ocmulgee National Monument. Within the package was a provision to redesignate the Ocmulgee National Monument to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and adjust its boundary to include approximately 2,100 additional acres. This action created greater protections for landscapes significant to several Native American tribes and numerous cultural resources.

    As part of the legislation, the National Park Service is conducting a special resource study of the Ocmulgee River Corridor in Georgia to determine whether the location should be part of the National Park System. The approximately 50-mile river corridor has a rich history that includes archaeological resources dating from the Paleoindian Period through World War II, with extensive Native American resources such as Mississippian mound sites. To learn more about the National Park Service special resource study of the Ocmulgee River Corridor, explore their detailed story map featuring video and interactive maps of the area.

    The National Park Service posted a landing page with background on the special resource study and a cultural and historic context report. Advocates who support this historically and ecologically significant landscape are asked to submit a public comment on the project by March 26.

    Your voice will aid the preservation and protection of this site and its cultural resources.

  • Win for Ocmulgee National Monument

    March 12, 2019

    Yes! Today the president signed into law a package of public lands bills that reauthorizes vital programs and supports the preservation of a diverse array of landscapes and historic sites.

    The most significant public lands legislation in a decade includes the passage of several key preservation priorities. The one we’re most proud of? Expansion and re-designation of Ocmulgee National Monument, a National Treasure of the National Trust.

    Now, learn more about the preservation and public lands initiatives that have been positively impacted by this bill.

  • Native Structure Vandalized

    February 5, 2019

    On Friday, February 1st, Ocmulgee National Monument officials reported one of the site’s native-made huts had been vandalized during the federal government’s partial shutdown. Noting that the Woodland House was damaged beyond repair, National Park Service officials report having demolished what remained of the structure.

    See the full story here:

  • Legislation Advances to Create the Ocmulgee National Historical Park

    February 1, 2017

    Ocmulgee National Monument

    photo by: National Park Service

    In the last two weeks, the United States Congress has taken significant strides towards creation of the Ocmulgee National Historical Park. On Friday, January 13, 2017, Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue joined Georgia Congressmen Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott to reintroduce legislation creating Georgia’s first national historical park.

    On Monday evening January 30th, by a vote of 396 to 8, the United States House of Representatives passed the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act (HR 538). Companion legislation awaits action in the Senate.

    During the 114th Congress, an identical version of this legislation passed unanimously through the US House Natural Resources Committee and was passed by the full House of Representatives. The previous Senate version passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and though positioned for passage, was not voted upon by the full Senate before Congress adjourned for the year.

    Designated in 1934, the 702-acre Ocmulgee National Monument is considered sacred to members of the Muscogee Creek Nation as well as to five additional native tribes. Located on the Ocmulgee River near Macon, GA, the Ocmulgee National Monument was home to Native Americans for more than 17,000 years. The national monument contains multiple ceremonial mounds and earthworks dating from the Mississippian period, including the only spiral staircase mound known to exist in North America.

    The Muscogee Creek recognize these lands to be their culture’s place of origin, describing lands which adjoin the course of the Ocmulgee River as “the place where we first sat down” – meaning the place where their ancestors first became a settled agricultural society. Encompassing roughly 85,000 acres of contiguous swamp, and representing the largest block of forested habitat in Georgia’s upper Coastal Plain, the State of Georgia has identified Ocmulgee’s 50-mile river corridor as among the state’s highest priorities for landscape conservation.

    The Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act (HR 538) captures these concerns, seeking to rename the current national monument the “Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park” while expanding the current monument’s landmass from 702 acres to 2,800 acres. Perhaps most importantly, passage of this legislation authorizes the National Park Service to undertake a resources study, an exploration of culturally affiliated lands to determine if the boundaries of the newly established national park could be expanded to create the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve. Establishment of the park and preserve would protect additional lands considered sacred to the Muscogee while creating new opportunities in Middle Georgia for recreational hunting, fishing, and camping.

    “Ensuring that the Ocmulgee Mounds receive the national park status and historic recognition they deserve will have a lasting positive economic and cultural impact in Middle Georgia,” stated Congressman Austin Scott. “It is for our constituents in Middle Georgia that we come together in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to reintroduce this legislation that will preserve our state’s history for future generations.” The National Trust could not agree more.

All 4 updates

Announcing the 2024 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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