TUPELO, MS. – The National Park Service and the Chickasaw Nation will begin the initial public scoping period for a Chickasaw Museum and Cultural Center Environmental Assessment (EA) on January 14, 2013. During this scoping period, the public and all interested parties are invited to comment on the project, and to identity potential issues or concerns for consideration in the EA.
Two public meetings will be held in conjunction with the initial public scoping period. At these meetings, the National Park Service and the Chickasaw Nation will discuss the proposal to establish a museum and cultural center at the Chickasaw Village site along the Natchez Trace Parkway near Tupelo, Mississippi. Information will include preliminary alternatives, site characteristics, impact topics, and project purpose and need. The public meetings will be held in an informal open house format where staff will be available to answer questions about the proposed project and the scope of the EA. Meetings will be held on January 30 and February 5, 2013 at the following locations:
January 30, 2013—4:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center, located at 2680 Natchez Trace Parkway (Milepost 266) in Tupelo, Mississippi, 2 miles north of Highway 78.
February 5, 2013—4:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Chickasaw Nation Headquarters, located at 520 E. Arlington in Ada, Oklahoma.
The primary purpose of the proposed museum and cultural center is to enhance the visitor services, visitor information, and visitor understanding of the Natchez Trace Parkway and the Chickasaw culture. The north Mississippi portion of the Parkway passes through the traditional homeland of the Chickasaw, and no other park in the National Park System has such an abundant concentration of resources associated with their culture. The site of the proposed center is located near the Natchez Trace Parkway Headquarters and Visitor Center.
The EA is being prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to identify alternatives and assess the potential impacts of the proposal. The public comment period will open on January 14, 2013, and will conclude on February 28, 2013. Interested parties, as well as the public, are invited to comment on issues and concerns related to the scope of the EA during the initial public scoping period. Additional information is available in a newsletter that has been posted to the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/natr_ea_newsletter. Comments may be submitted through this same website, or by mail to the Superintendent at 2680 Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, Mississippi 38804. Copies of the newsletter are available upon request by contacting the Natchez Trace Parkway at 662-680-4005.