Environment

Proposed ‘Outdoor Stewardship Act’ Would Dedicate Money For Ga. Conservation

Flowers blossom on a tree as a couple passes in the background in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Sunday, March 25, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
“Those funds would help us manage our existing wildlife management areas and parks, help local governments purchase parks and trails and places to recreate that are of interest to them and then would also help us protect high-priority conservation areas around the state,” said Thomas Farmer of the Nature Conservancy in Georgia.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press file
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Georgia environmental groups are pushing a bill this year called the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act that would take a small portion of the state sales tax and use it for conservation.

It wouldn’t raise taxes, rather it would allow up to .75 percent of the state sales tax to be dedicated to land conservation. The current version of the proposal would raise about $20 million a year, according to Thomas Farmer, director of government relations for the Nature Conservancy in Georgia.

“Those funds would help us manage our existing wildlife management areas and parks, help local governments purchase parks and trails and places to recreate that are of interest to them and then would also help us protect high-priority conservation areas around the state,” Farmer said.

If the bill passes, the proposal will go to Georgia voters as a constitutional amendment.