Special Resource Study
The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a Special Resource Study of the Ocmulgee River Corridor between Macon and Hawkinsville, Georgia. The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 (Dingell Act) directed the Secretary of the Interior to complete the study, the purpose of which is to identify whether the Ocmulgee River Corridor meets specific criteria to be recommended for potential inclusion as a unit of the national park system.
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 turkey, and many species of waterfowl.
The NPS Guidelines for Special Resource Studies outline four criteria to be evaluated to determine eligibility for potential units of the national park system. These criteria include: 1) national significance, 2) suitability, 3) feasibility, and 4) need for NPS management. The study process is linear, and each of the four criteria are evaluated sequentially. If the study finds that the river corridor does not meet one of the criteria, the study will not evaluate the subsequent criteria.
There will be a virtual public comment period NOW THROUGH MARCH 26TH. We ask for our supporters to participate as this is a crucial part of this study.
Find out more: National Park Service Special Resource Study
ONPPI’s Mission Statement reflects the multifaceted work we are leading in Middle Georgia:
“To advocate for the expansion of the Ocmulgee National Monument and its eventual integration into the larger network of public lands in the Ocmulgee River corridor south of Macon to form a new Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve. We seek to preserve historical, cultural, and environmental values, while simultaneously providing the economic and other benefits of a National Park to Middle Georgia and beyond.”
We are a diverse group with interests across the varied landscape and history of the area we want to protect and preserve as a new National Park and Preserve. Contact Us to find out how you can get involved, or Support ONPPI with a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization.