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Mandatory meetings held for Delta heritage area

CLEVELAND — The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area moved closer to full authorization with two recent public meetings and a series of planning committee meetings, followed by a session with the governing board.

Thirty people attended a community meeting in the Museum of the Mississippi Delta in Greenwood, and 25 attended another meeting in the Landers Center in Southaven. Later, three planning committee meetings attracted 35 participants to the Delta State University campus.

All of the meetings discussed and evaluated a set of alternative scenarios for the future of the Heritage Area, and all reached consensus that the best future would involve a mix of educational efforts, historic preservation, interpretation and promotion of the Delta’s heritage. The results of the meetings were considered by the governing board, which agreed with the consensus.

The discussions have helped determine the content of the formal management plan that is required by the National Park Service before the Heritage Area can become fully authorized.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area was created with support from Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MISS.) and Roger Wicker (R-MISS.) in 2009 when the Omnibus Federal Lands Management Act was signed into law by President Obama. It is currently engaged in the mandatory Management Planning Process, which will end in December.

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