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Park Service has goal for site now

Natchez’s history is entwined with the natural wonder on which we sit.

Too often, residents may take for granted the beautiful bluff on which the city was founded, but it’s among our most unique, most interesting features.

It’s a true geological wonder, worthy of great celebration.

The Natchez bluff will almost certainly be on display in 2016 as the City of Natchez begins to gear up for its 300th anniversary.

At that time the community has an amazing opportunity to celebrate both the beauty of the bluff as well as the three centuries — more if you count the original Natchezians, the Natchez Indians — of history that have unfolded on the special soil.

All we need is a little luck and some assistance from the National Park Service to make the bluff’s birthday debut truly one for the record books.

NPS now controls one of the area’s most historic sites, the ground on which the French first settled the area and built Fort Rosalie. Unfortunately, the long, slow government process to include the Fort Rosalie site into the Natchez National Historical Park has prevented the public from having access to the site.

The Park Service has long-range plans to change that and open up the area for better public access to this national treasure.

This week Park Service leaders said they expected clearance soon to remove some of the dilapidated structures currently on the site. That will be the next hurdle in getting the site ready for the big birthday celebration in a few years.

We hope park officials will ensure that on the 300th anniversary, current residents and tourists alike will be able to walk in the footsteps of those who first put Natchez on the modern map.