Vote Yes on Amendment 1: The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act is An Historic Opportunity to Protect our Waters and Lands
By Dottie Head
On November 6, Georgians will head to the polls to cast their votes for a new Governor, Congressional Representatives, and other state and local officials. Much is at stake in this election as we have witnessed countless attacks on long-held, successful conservation programs, such as the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, clean air and water programs, National Parks, and much more. But there is one amendment on the Georgia ballot this year that can have tremendous positive impacts for birds, wildlife, and public lands here in Georgia. Amendment One, the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment, or GOSA, would dedicate a portion of the existing sales tax on outdoor sporting goods to land and water conservation without raising any taxes or creating new fees. This is not a new tax, just a reallocation of existing tax revenue to land and water conservation.
If passed, this funding would:
Funds would also be made available as grants to cities, counties, or nongovernmental organizations, to help secure and expand access to properties, both rural and urban, that are critical to Georgia’s wildlife and supporting more opportunities for people to recreate.
If passed, the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment would dedicate up to 80% of the existing sales and use tax on outdoor sporting goods to the protection of the state’s lands, water, and wildlife without raising or creating any new taxes or fees.
Over $20 million would be dedicated every year for the next ten years. This funding could not be used for any other purpose and would be subject to strict accountability provisions and public disclosure. Only projects consistent with the state’s established goals for conservation would be approved.
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment is supported by a coalition of leading conservation organizations including The Nature Conservancy, the Georgia Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, Park Pride, and many others.
GOSA will be the subject of our October 28 Monthly Meeting at Manuel’s Tavern (see the announcement on the back of this newsletter), where Thomas Farmer, Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy, will share information on this amendment and answer questions.
Atlanta Audubon encourages members to learn more about GOSA at www.GeorgiaOutdoorStewardship.org and to vote Yes on Amendment One.