Report Feb 9, 2017

Diamond in the Rough

An Economic Analysis of the Proposed Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve

In recent years, middle Georgia grassroots organizations have proposed the creation of an Ocmulgee National Park & Preserve that would consolidate the Ocmulgee National Monument with other existing public lands along the Ocmulgee River between Macon and Hawkinsville to:

  • preserve the history and remnants of the Native American mound builders,
  • protect public hunting, fishing, and wildlife habitat,
  • promote and enhance base-compatible land use around Robins Air Force Base,
  • increase name recognition and thereby national and international prominence, and
  • grow the regional recreation and tourism economy.

To better understand the National Park & Preserve concept and its potential economic impacts, NPCA commissioned a study, with generous funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Economists from the University of Tennessee’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics used the IMPLAN economic model to generate growth projections over a 15-year period comparing a hypothetical “National Park & Preserve” against a “No National Park & Preserve” scenario.

What will middle Georgia become over the next 50 to 75 years? How can Macon and surrounding communities build a 21st Century economy, bolster the quality of life, and attract innovative businesses to the region? And what role might a National Park & Preserve play in anchoring the region’s future? Answers to these questions all remain to be determined.

We hope this report will help to foster creative thinking in the service of a bold vision for the future.

For a copy of the detailed technical summary, please contact Sr. Program Manager, Chris Watson at cwatson@npca.org.

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