JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - The Department of Energy has transferred a former nuclear test site in Lamar County to the State of Mississippi. Today, an agreement was signed in Jackson between Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and representatives of the DOE transferring the Salmon Site, formerly known as the Tatum Salt Dome near Baxterville, to the State.
The 1,500 acre site was the location of 2 underground nuclear explosions in the mid-1960's. Federal and State testing over the decades has shown no surface contamination.
The state will have ownership of the surface and timber rights. The DOE will retain ownership of all materials and rights below the surface.
"This is a significant donation, not only of the acreage involved, but over $2 million of timber will be given to the State and managed now for all of the citizens of the State of Mississippi in perpetuity," said Delbert Hosemann. "It's a good day, it's a great Christmas present for the State," Hosemann said.
Federal law authorizing the transfer has designated the site as the Jaime Whitten Forest Management Area.