"Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act” Becomes Law
Statement by Paul Edmondson, interim president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Today, as a part of the most significant public lands legislation in a decade the “John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act” (S.47), President Trump signed into law the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act, which will expand the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, Georgia and re-designate it as a National Historical Park.
The following is a statement from Paul Edmondson, interim president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on the passage of the Ocmulgee legislation:
“The passage of the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Act, transforming Ocmulgee National Monument into a National Historical Park, is an important commitment to telling the stories of Native Americans including the Muscogee (Creek) Tribe, preserving the rich culture and wildlife present at the Ocmulgee National Monument, and fostering a future where these intertwined cultural, spiritual, and environmental resources are valued and protected.
“We thank the bill sponsors, including Senator Johnny Isakson and Representative Sanford Bishop, for their dedication to this important National Treasure, as well as our partners, the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Muscogee (Creek) Tribe, the Historic Macon Foundation, and the Southeast Tourism Society, for their tireless effort securing the future of this important place.
“The Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park honors the history and culture of Native Americans whose narrative in this sacred space dates back more than 17,000 years; a history that deserves to not only be preserved, but shared. We will continue working to amplify the stories of the many different tribes, including the Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Tribes, for whom these lands are sacred ground.”
About the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act
Designated in 1934, the 702-acre Ocmulgee National Monument on the Ocmulgee River near Macon is considered sacred to members of the Muscogee Creek Nation and five additional native tribes who called the area home 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 region is defined by the Muscogee (Creek) Tribe as “the place where we first sat down,” the place where their ancestors first became a settled agricultural society. In 2003, the National Trust named Ocmulgee National Monument to its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, and in December of 2016 the site was designated a National Treasure. Passage of this legislation expands the current monument to 2,800 acres and re-designates it as Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park. It also authorizes National Park Service to undertake a resources study to explore the protection of lands considered sacred to the Muscogee while creating new opportunities in Middle Georgia for recreational hunting, fishing, and camping.