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Bill orders sale of land near lake to development group

A southwest Mississippi group will be able to buy some land around a reservoir following Congress’ passage this week of the farm bill.

The bill orders the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to sell 150 acres of land in the Homochitto National Forest in Franklin County to the Scenic Rivers Development Alliance.

The Enterprise-Journal reports that the alliance, a coalition of local governments, hopes to develop campgrounds and other amenities at Okhissa Lake. The goal is to lure tourists and fishermen to the lake, which offers good fishing but little development.

U.S. Sen Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi Republican, says she inserted the language in the bill.

The alliance must pay fair market value for the land and has 180 days to start the transaction. No cost estimate has been publicly released.

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