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Federal, local and tribal unity promises a new national park in Georgia

When Tracie Revis climbs the Great Temple Mount, which rises nine stories above the Ocmulgee River in present-day central Georgia, she follows in the footsteps of her Muscogean ancestors who were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma 200 years ago.

“This is a lush and beautiful land. The rivers are beautiful here,” Ms. Revis said recently as she gazed over the forest canopy at a distant green horizon, broken only by the Macon skyline, just across the water. “We believe that those ancestors are still here, their songs are still here, their words are still here, their tears are still here. And so we speak to them. You know, we still honor those who have passed.”

If approved by Congress after a three-year federal review concludes this fall, the mounds in Macon would serve as the gateway to a new Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve, protecting 54 river miles of floodplain where nearly 900 more sites of cultural or historical importance has been identified.

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