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Georgia Conservancy: Vote YES on Amendment One

THE Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment is on the ballot on November 6 as Amendment One. This amendment is an opportunity Georgians have had to dedicate funding for conservation, and it will be done without a tax increase.

This amendment will allow a portion of the existing sales tax we already pay on outdoor sporting goods to be dedicated to the protection of the state’s land, water and wildlife. The amendment creates no new taxes or fees.

If the amendment passes, over $20 million would be dedicated every year for the next ten years. This money will protect wild places for generations. This money will keep Georgia’s air and water clean and healthy. This funding cannot be used for any other purpose and will be subject to strict accountability provisions and public review. Only projects consistent with the state’s established goals for conservation will be approved to receive funding.

When you buy a kayak or a soccer ball, you know that you pay a sales tax on that purchase. Amendment One will designate those taxes you have already paid to be used towards creating and protecting the lands and waterways where you use that kayak and soccer ball.

If passed, this amendment will:

• Protect lands critical to clean drinking water and the quality of Georgia’s lakes, rivers, and streams

• Expand and improve local and state parks and trails

• Maintain and improve access to wildlife management areas and create new opportunities for hunting and fishing

• Support Georgia’s $27 billion outdoor recreation industry

The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment is supported by a broad coalition of leading conservation organizations including The Conservation Fund, Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride, and The Trust for Public Land.

Locally, we are working to build support with a diverse group of stakeholders including the Savannah Tree Foundation, East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Longleaf Alliance and the Savannah and Altamaha Riverkeepers.

It is important to note that by constitutionally dedicating funds through a voter referendum, this money will be protected from any other use – in a manner similar to the Georgia Lottery. That is why the coalition advocating for the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment went the extra step to ask for a constitutional amendment, rather than a set-aside or earmark in the annual state budget.

Georgia currently relies upon an annual appropriations process to fund our conservation needs, which has traditionally been priority for elected leaders, but this year-to-year process makes long-term planning difficult. A dedicated funding source will provide a reliable, predictable amount of annual funding that will not only help that planning process but will also better position Georgia to attract additional federal, philanthropic, and private investment.

We need your help to pass this historic Amendment. This is a once in a generation opportunity. Please vote yes on Amendment One!

For more information, you can go to the website: or email or for Savannah related concerns or questions.

Charles H. McMillan, Georgia Conservancy, Coastal Director

Savannah, Georgia