March 3, 2017

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Measure would dedicate funding to land conservation

Covington, GA – The Natural Resources Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 332, the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act, on March 2. The legislation proposes that 75% of the existing sales tax on outdoor recreation equipment be dedicated to the protection of the state’s water, wildlife and quality of life.

“One of the most important things we can do to ensure prosperity and quality of life for future generations is proactively protect our natural resources, including conservation lands,” said the bill’s sponsor, Representative Sam Watson (Moultrie). “If we want to maintain Georgia’s reputation as a great place to live and work, to preserve family traditions like hunting and fishing while at the same time supporting key industries such as tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, we need to be able to execute a land management strategy that takes into account the needs of people, business and wildlife.”

If passed and then approved by voter referendum, the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act would annually dedicate an estimated $40 million in funding without creating or raising any taxes or fees. Funds would support the acquisition and stewardship of lands critical for water, wildlife and outdoor recreation, including parks and trails.

The legislation is supported by organizations including The Conservation Fund, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride, Trust for Public Land, Association County Commissioners of Georgia the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation.

About Georgia Wildlife Federation

The Georgia Wildlife Federation, the state’s oldest conservation organization, is proud to be part of a coalition that strongly supports the passage of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act. We believe it will have an impact on our lands and wildlife that will allow Georgia’s outdoor traditions to continue for generations to come. We encourage hunters, anglers and all those who enjoy our state’s land and wildlife to join us in encouraging the members of the General Assembly to say yes to this investment in our future.

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