2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 6 - FOREST RESOURCES AND OTHER PLANT LIFE
ARTICLE 6 - FOREST HERITAGE TRUST ACT
§ 12-6-241 - Legislative findings
. Legislative findings
(a) The General Assembly finds that certain real property in Georgia, because it exhibits unique natural characteristics, special historical significance, or particular recreational value, constitutes a valuable heritage which should be protected to provide benefits to all Georgians, now and in the future. The General Assembly specifically recognizes that the forest lands and resources of the state are a natural resource of great economic value to the citizens of the state, not only for the potential production of forest products which they can provide, but also for the enormously valuable natural benefits they impart to the citizens of Georgia, such as air and water quality improvements, water storage, control of erosion, temperature moderation, habitat for native plants and wildlife, and opportunities for recreation in a natural, historic Georgia environment. Natural forested lands also allow present and future citizens to gain an understanding of the prehistoric and early culture of this region. Commercial forests provide traditional jobs, support our economy, and reflect the importance this industry has had in the development of Georgia. The General Assembly further finds that many of the forest resources of the state are under pressure to be converted to other uses because of Georgia's rapid progress and increased population over the past decades. As forest lands are converted to other uses and irreparably altered, a valuable part of our cultural heritage is lost as well as the natural benefits those forest lands provide.
(b) The General Assembly declares, therefore, that there is a compelling public need to preserve forest lands as an element of Georgia's heritage. The General Assembly asserts the public interest in the state's heritage by creating the Forest Heritage Trust Program, which shall be the responsibility of the Governor and the State Forestry Commission and which shall seek to protect this heritage through the acquisition of fee simple title or lesser interests in valuable properties and by utilization of other available methods.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer