01/10/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/10/2019 20:18
Photo: National Park Service
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., along with U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.-02, Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.-11, and Austin Scott, R-Ga.-08, today announced they are continuing their efforts to expand and preserve the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, Ga., for future generations.
The members reintroduced the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act to expand the current Ocmulgee National Monument from 702 acres to approximately 2,800 acres and change its name to 'Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.' The legislation also authorizes a resources study to evaluate potential future park expansions, which would further protect vulnerable land and allow visitors more opportunities for recreational activities.
'I'm glad to continue our efforts to ensure that Ocmulgee National Monument becomes a Georgia national historical park,' said Senator Johnny Isakson. 'I'm optimistic that both the House and the Senate will soon pass this legislation to preserve the rich historical and archaeological heritage of these lands.'
'The Ocmulgee National Monument is one of Georgia's most treasured historical sites,' said Senator David Perdue. 'I'm happy to continue working with Senator Isakson and my colleagues in the House to expand the site's boundaries and designate it as a national historical park. This designation will help boost tourism in Middle Georgia and protect a piece of our state's rich history.'
'The Ocmulgee Mounds is a true cultural and archaeological treasure to Georgia and the entire nation,' said Congressman Sanford Bishop. 'I am confident that this important bipartisan legislation will soon get across the finish line so that it will strengthen the current Ocmulgee National Monument and bolster the economy and cultural life of Georgia and beyond. I want to thank Senators Isakson and Perdue for their continued leadership on this bill.'
'Expanding the Ocmulgee National Monument in Georgia to include the Ocmulgee Mounds will help preserve its historical and archaeological significance for generations to come,' said Congressman Barry Loudermilk. 'This expansion will also increase visitors' accessibility to hunt, fish, and camp in the area, which will help generate tourist revenue for the surrounding counties. Preserving lands such as these will help educate visitors on the beauty and rich history Georgia has to offer, and is a big reason why I'm an original co-sponsor of the House bill introduced by my colleague Rep. Sanford D. Bishop (D-GA).'
'Ensuring that the Ocmulgee Mounds receive the historical recognition they deserve will have a lasting positive economic and cultural impact in Middle Georgia,' said 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.'
Due to its history and archaeological importance, expanding Ocmulgee National Monument to Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park will be a lasting memorial to how individuals relate to the land as well as its unique natural and historical features. This expansion and improvement will be a fitting tribute to the Native Americans who first came to this historic site during the Paleo-Indian period. The park also will generate tourist revenue for Middle Georgia while educating visitors on the cultures that have occupied this land for thousands of years.
Ocmulgee National Monument was originally authorized by Congress in 1934 to protect a fraction of the lands commonly known as the 'Old Ocmulgee Fields,' upon which historic Indian mounds are located. The legislation envisioned a large park of approximately 2,000 acres, but local citizens at that time could finance the acquisition of only 678 acres by the time it opened in 1936. Today, the Ocmulgee National Monument contains 702 acres. Operated by the National Park Service, the role of the Ocmulgee National Monument is to 'present a story of many stages of prehistoric cultural development, emphasizing the influences of agriculture, the Mound Builder period, and the relationship of these various cultures to each other and to life today.'
Isakson, Perdue, Bishop and Scott previously introduced the legislation in the 113th, 114th and 115th sessions of Congress.
The measure is also supported by Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, the Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Macon-Bibb Visitors Bureau, the Macon-Bibb Commission, the Macon-Bibb Economic Development Commission, and the Ocmulgee National Park & Preserve Initiative.