Wednesday, March 26, 2008

03/19 - Protect Georgia's resources

The Florida Times-Union
March 19, 2008
Special to the Times-Union

From scenic mountains, through dense pine forests, along rushing rivers and to our spectacular coast, Georgia has a diverse landscape that is home to an abundance of plants and animals.

Safeguarding our wild places for future generations is a priority for Georgia, and the General Assembly must ensure funding to protect our natural landscapes.

In his 2009 proposed budget, Gov. Sonny Perdue has requested $35 million for the Georgia Land Conservation Program. This program, created in 2005 and funded each year by the state legislature, helps enhance the state's natural and cultural legacy by permanently protecting strategic parcels of land for conservation.

Our barrier islands, such as Ossabaw and Jekyll, are wonderful examples of natural areas in our own backyard that provide families in our community with a connection to nature.

If appropriated, these funds will allow communities across the state to continue protecting areas around them for recreational uses, such as hiking, hunting and fishing.

As the population of Georgia continues to grow at a rapid pace, we must act now to set aside and protect areas from development that compromise the integrity of our wild places.

Supporting the allocation of funds in the budget for the Georgia Land Conservation Program will give local governments and conservation organizations a tool to owffset the loss of land to development.

With the recent drought, water quality and quantity has become a top concern for many Georgia residents.

We cannot neglect the role that land protection has on our freshwater resources. Land protection can ensure lower population density and limit the harmful effects of polluted runoff in sensitive areas.

Georgia is home to many major corporations.

Our abundance of natural resources is one of the primary reasons our state is such a good place to do business.

To continue enjoying this smart economic growth across the state, we must ensure thoughtful and informed land management strategies that benefit the quality of life and continue to attract business and industry to Georgia.

Supporting the Georgia Land Conservation Program will help us reach this goal and demonstrate that we consider land stewardship a top priority for all areas of our state, especially coastal Georgia.

Georgia's Conservancy Board
Savannah, Ga.

This story can be found on at


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