Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp has signed six pieces of legislation to strengthen Georgia's number one forestry industry, promote conservation efforts, and protect the state's natural resources. The legislation includes HB 997, which exempts forestry equipment from statewide ad valorem taxes, pending a statewide referendum question (agricultural equipment is already exempt); HB 1349, which updates Georgia’s No Net Loss requirement to encompass over 200,000 acres of hunting and fishing land added since 2005; HB 343, which imposes stronger penalties on poaching; HB 586, which extends the sunset on the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA); HB 1147, which provides for year-round hunting season on racoons and opossums on non-public land; and HB 1148, which implements stronger requirements for deer brought into Georgia from states with confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
"Georgia's agriculture assets, beautiful natural wonders, and great outdoors have given both my family and many others a livelihood and good memories," said Governor Brian Kemp. "We're not only proud to be champions of our state's thriving agriculture and related industries and natural resources, we're also dedicated to ensuring future generations are able to enjoy them as well. The bills I signed into law will help us treat the forestry industry the same way that we do agriculture as well as protect hunting, fishing, and conservation land, and more. I want to thank those in the Georgia General Assembly who carried these measures, as well as the Department of Natural Resources for their continued efforts to conserve our wild places and the Georgia Forestry Association for their work to support Georgia’s number one forestry industry."
Governor Kemp, in addition to the many members of the Georgia House and Senate who voted in favor of these important measures, would like to thank the following bill sponsors for their role in the respective legislation:
- HB 997: Rep. Sam Watson and Sen. Larry Walker
- HB 1349: Rep. Jason Ridley and Sen. Tyler Harper
- HB 343: Rep. Trey Rhodes and Sen. Russ Goodman
- HB 586: Rep. Sam Watson and Sen. Steve Gooch
- HB 1147: Rep. Trey Rhodes and Sen. Tyler Harper
- HB 1148: Rep. Trey Rhodes and Sen. Tyler Harper