The Official Portal for the State of Georgia

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue

Preserving Georgia Natural Resources

Preserving Georgia's Natural Resources

Governor Perdue introduced a landmark initiative to encourage the long-term conservation and protection of the state's natural, cultural and historic resources in the 2004 session of the General Assembly.  The Georgia Land Conservation Act passed with broad bipartisan support and the Governor signed it into law on April 14, 2005.

The Act establishes a trust fund and a revolving loan fund of over $150 million in state, federal and private funding, which will be available to local governments and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to protect conservation lands.  The legislation encourages partnerships between local governments, DNR, other state and federal agencies and the private sector, with the intent of preserving Georgia s most valued resources. 

The Act also establishes the Georgia Land Conservation Council, which will is responsible for reviewing and approving all project proposals for the distribution of funds.  The legislation calls for the Georgia Land Conservation Council to include the State Property Officer, the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Executive Director of the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and four additional members appointed by the Governor.

In 2005, Governor Perdue reinforced his commitment to protect Georgia’s lands by creating the Georgia Conservation Tax Credit Program. The program is designed to provide a financial incentive to encourage the dedication of private property for conservation uses, while upholding Georgia’s important traditions of private land ownership and private conservation. 

By placing land conservation at the top of his budgetary and legislative priorities, Governor Perdue made a commitment to future generations that we will preserve Georgia’s valuable land and water resources so that they can enjoy them for decades to come.  This Governor’s legislation encouraged partnerships between local and federal governments, the state, the private sector and non profit conservation organizations to preserve our priceless assets while the Governor’s budgetary commitments have allowed Georgia to strategically invest in some of Georgia’s most valuable natural resources. 

With the Governor’s continued commitment, Georgia will be able to invest in land conservation activities with both the purchase and permanent protection of Georgia land. The Governor is continuing to encourage state, local and federal partnerships to stretch available conservation dollars as far as possible. Public interest in the Tax Credit is continuing to grow and the level of participation is only expected to increase in future years and local communities are continuing to work with the Governor to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the resources that are available to them today.