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Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission Seeks Public Input about Preliminary Management Alternatives

Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission Seeks Public Input about Preliminary Management Alternatives

The Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission (GGCHCC) is seeking input on three preliminary alternatives it developed for managing the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor over the next 10 years. The preliminary alternatives outline basic management concepts and implementation ideas. Comments must be received by October 26, 2010 to be considered.

“Based on the responses we receive, we will then reevaluate these preliminary alternatives and select a preferred alternative,” said Emory S. Campbell, GGCHCC Chairman. “The preferred alternative could be one of the three alternatives we’ve developed, a combination of ideas from more than one of the alternatives, or an entirely new alternative. All of this information will then be included in the Management Plan/Environmental Assessment.”

Each preliminary alternative presents a different guiding framework for management. A newsletter with information about each and a comment sheet has been distributed to partners, stakeholders, and attendees from last year’s public meetings. The information can be viewed on the Internet by visiting http://parkplanning.nps.gov/GUGENewsletter2. To send comments, click on “Comment on Document” and fill out the online comment form. Handwritten or printed comments in letter or note form also may be mailed to National Park Service, DSC-P—Andrew Coburn, P.O. Box 25287, Denver, CO 80225-0287.

Preliminary Alternative A, the “No-Action Alternative,” is a continuation of the status quo and is required to be considered by federal law. Under this alternative, the management plan would not be completed. The GGCHCC would still be authorized to operate, but would lack the guiding management framework of the management plan and would not be eligible for funding through the National Park Service National Heritage Area program. The GGCHCC would have to raise all funds required for implementation.

Preliminary Alternative B, “Document to Sustain and Inform about Gullah/Geechee People and Culture” focuses on strategies designed to document and archive the history and resources of the corridor, promote community-based participatory research and community training opportunities, and share Gullah/Geechee history and resources with the Gullah/Geechee community, residents, visitors, and scholars.

Preliminary Alternative C, “Empower Gullah/Geechee People and Perpetuate and Sustain the Culture” focuses on strategies designed to educate residents and visitors, particularly youth; enhance economic opportunities; protect natural resources; and perpetuate traditional skills, arts, and crafts.

The alternatives were developed using the input received from the public over the course of 21 public meetings held across the corridor in 2009; Public Law 109-338, Subtitle I (the law that established the corridor); and input from the GGCHCC and public and private stakeholders. The comments have been captured in the document entitled “Public Scoping Comment Analysis Report”. It can be viewed on the Internet by visiting http://parkplanning.nps.gov/guge and clicking on “Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, NHA” at the bottom of the page, then clicking on “Document List” on the left side of the screen, and then clicking on the document title.

”Please let us know what you like or dislike about the preliminary alternatives and whether we have left anything out. It is important to be specific,” Campbell said. “You might like a particular preliminary alternative concept, but disagree with one or more of the potential implementation actions. You may dislike portions or all of one of the preliminary alternative concepts, but like the implementation actions. You may even have an entirely different vision for how the area should be managed. If so, please let us know. Your comments, suggestions, and ideas will guide the GGCHCC in developing the best possible management framework for the corridor.”

Stay up-to-date with other Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor developments at www.nps.gov/guge.

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