Georgians Overwhelmingly Support Conservation Funding! Thank You!
Amendment 1 Passes on November 6th
By Robert Ramsay, President, Georgia Conservancy
For many Georgia voters, Election Day, like many before, equaled a very late night glued to the television screen or to one’s Twitter feed in the hopes of catching the latest results of tight races with razor thin margins. A few of those very close races are still yet to be decided. Results for Amendment One, however, were conclusive within an hour of the polls closing. Georgians overwhelmingly support, by a margin of more than 4 to 1, dedicated funding for conservation in our nation’s 6th most ecologically-diverse state. The future of Georgia’s land, water and outdoor recreation opportunities are not a partisan issue.
The Georgia Conservancy, and our partners in the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Coalition, would like to give thanks to the many of you who have advocated for such an important measure, as well as to those of you who showed your support on November 6. For more than 20 years, citizens, state agencies, conservation organizations and our legislators at the State Capitol have worked to develop a bi-partisan supported conservation funding mechanism that addressed critical needs such as clean water, protection of wildlife habitat, greenspace for communities large and small, expanded access to state lands, and greater opportunities for outdoor recreation. Those efforts paid off in 2018 with the nearly unanimous support given to House Bill 332 by the State Legislature, with the signing of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act by Governor Nathan Deal, and with 83% of voters saying YES to Amendment One. It was you that made this happen! Your voice was heard both under the Gold Dome and at the ballot box.
Will the newly created Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund solve all of our conservation needs and natural resource issues? Of course not. But with the passage of Amendment One – the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment – Georgia voters have put the state in a position to address many those critical needs across the state without raising taxes, as well as plan for future conservation challenges that may arise.
We are thankful for the opportunity that Georgians have provided this great state to increase conservation funding. Whether you seek nature in metro Atlanta or find respite in our mountains and plateaus in the North, whether you hunt and fish in the red hills of Southwest Georgia or explore our extensive salt marsh and coastal waterways – dedicated conservation funding will only enhance these experiences and help to extend them to others.
The Georgia Conservancy and our coalition partners will continue to advocate for specific conservation areas, projects and funding needs that can be addressed by the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, and we look forward to including you in many of these efforts.
Robert Ramsay is the President of the Georgia Conservancy
To learn more about the Georgia Conservancy, please visit: http://www.georgiaconservancy.org
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Coalition includes The Georgia Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, The Georgia Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride and The Trust for Public Land
Featured photo: Sapelo Island by Brian Foster