We hope that state officials move quickly to protect the Poverty Point State Historic Site near Delhi in northeast Louisiana from erosion caused by Harlin Bayou.

Located in West Carroll Parish in north Louisiana, Poverty Point includes huge earthen mounds presumably built by Native Americans at least 3,000 years ago. The structures required sophisticated organization to construct, suggesting complicated social development among the ancient people who lived near the site. One scholar has called Poverty Point “the origin of civilization in North America.”

Recently, Poverty Point was nominated for a spot on the World Heritage List, an international roster of sites that have particularly profound significance in world history. The nomination was prepared by state officials and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Currently only 21 U.S. sites are on the list, which includes sites from around the world. An international panel based in Paris will decide by 2014 whether to place Poverty Point on the list.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who oversees state parks and historic sites, has asked for $750,000 in state funds to protect Poverty Point from erosion. We hope that state officials quickly approve that request. This historical treasure should be preserved for future generations.