Mississippi Hills seeks support for plan

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TUPELO – The draft management plan – also known as the planning framework – for the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area is available on the National Park Service’s PEPC (Planning, Environment & Public Comment) website.

Through June 12, the public can review the draft plan and post comments.

The Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance is requesting letters of support from cultural and heritage attractions, development organizations, local government, hospitality industry, etc. These letters are important to securing formal approval of the plan.

Letters on organizational letterhead must be sent by June 1 via email in Microsoft Word or PDF format, or as a scanned document/image file. Letters also can be sent to MHNHA at 398 E. Main St., Suite 132, Tupelo, MS 38804.

MHNHA covers 19 full counties and portions of 11 others in the northeastern part of Mississippi, including Alcorn, Attala, Benton, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, DeSoto, Grenada, Holmes, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Webster, Winston and Yalobusha.

According to the alliance, the Mississippi Hills area “represents a distinctive cultural landscape shaped largely by the intersection of Appalachian and Delta cultures. Lasting contributions to the country’s musical and literary legacies were forged by Hills natives Elvis Presley, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Howlin’ Wolf and Tammy Wynette.”

The alliance “seeks to interpret and share the stories of these individuals, as well as the legacies of Civil Rights pioneers James Meredith and Ida B. Wells-Barnett.”

MHNHA also focuses on “lesser-known figures of historical and cultural interest, as well as events of significance to the nation’s history that took place within its borders.”

See the draft plan at www.park planning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=49626.