Sen. Lankford’s Massive Tulsa National Park

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford wants a huge part of downtown Tulsa to be moved to federal control thus directing ownership and future development. This will likely hike property taxes for everyone else in Tulsa County as this land goes off common property tax rolls – an area that stretches from Archer Street north beyond Pine Street, and from Elgin Street east to Peoria Avenue generally encompassing over 60 city blocks of downtown Tulsa to establish a memorial for a “massacre.”

Introduced in the U.S. Senate December 14, 2023, Sen. Lankford proposes the “Historic Greenwood District—Black Wall Street National Monument in the State of Oklahoma and for other purposes (S.3543).” If enacted, the area will be under the authority of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

S 3543, Section 3a: There is established the Historic Greenwood District—Black Wall Street National Monument in the State of Oklahoma as a unit of the National Park System to preserve, protect, and interpret for the benefit of present and future generations resources associated with the Historic Greenwood District, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and the role of each in the history of the State of Oklahoma and the United States.

The bill legitimizes the title of “Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921” which this writer and others have long disputed. In short, two groups of armed civilians marched on the Tulsa County Courthouse in 1921. It was a civil insurrection or civil war if you prefer. Both groups brought guns from home and many WW I veterans engaged in the confrontation. Once fighting began, heart rending tragedy followed, but it was not a massacre. Oklahoma has suffered massacres before, from the Tonkawa Massacre to the Murrah Building bombing, but Tulsa, by objective analysis, was a civilian battle.

The Bill establishes a Commission to “advise the Secretary regarding the development and management of the National Monument including the construction of visitor service facilities and infrastructure” is also federally established. The Commission “shall be composed of 11 members of whom – 7 members shall be descendants, 3 members shall have experience in the field of historic preservation, and one member shall be appointed after consideration of recommendations submitted by the Mayor of Tulsa.” Members are appointed for 5-year terms and may be reappointed by the Secretary all serving without compensation, but “shall be allowed travel expenses, including per-Diem in lieu of subsistence” in the performance of duties of the Commission.”

The Secretary, in consultation and coordination with Oklahoma State University [OSU], shall prepare a management plan for the National Monument,” the Bill states.

Oddly specific, a requirement within the Bill ensures that the administration does not interfere with the continuing use and ownership by OSU of Standpipe Hill which is the only ownership within the district specified. There are other public ownership such as ONEOK Field, school property, and Interstate Highway I-244.

The Bill states that the “Secretary may acquire any land or interest in land located within the boundary of the National Monument by donation, purchase from a willing seller or exchange.”

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One thought on “Sen. Lankford’s Massive Tulsa National Park

  1. Leslie L Shockley

    This is just more land grab from the people of Ok. Just wait for all of the ordinances we will be seeing in the coming year that will make it impossible for any of us to keep our land. One World Order Coming NOW! Wake up America. You are being enslaved by your government and Corporations around the world.

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