Conservation Almanac




Georgia Profile of State Programs and Policy Framework

Highlighted Local Programs


Highlighted State Programs


State Policy Framework



To avoid double counting acres where multiple programs contributed to the acquisition of a single parcel, the acreage is only aggregated under the program that provided the majority of funding. For example, if the table below displays a dollar amount greater than $0 for a given year but shows 0 acres, the program was not the primary contributor for any parcels in that year. As a result, a prolific program may show very low acreage figures on this page. To see customized program information please visit the map viewer tab or contact the Conservation Almanac Team.

Highlighted Local Programs

Local Conservation Programs Include:

    Athens-Clarke County, GA

    Atlanta, GA

    Cherokee County, GA

    Cobb County, GA

    DeKalb County, GA

    Forsyth County, GA

    Paulding County, GA

Visit for detailed information on these programs.

2011 36.2 $1,533,576
2010 156.7 $6,457,155
2009 2,416.3 $57,443,130
2008 678.1 $53,080,546
2007 690.9 $38,356,678
2006 493.1 $18,848,669
2005 169.8 $15,533,646
2004 573.8 $25,347,343
2003 565.8 $21,674,141
2002 228.6 $8,220,532
2001 1,470.1 $26,774,282
2000 342.0 $8,229,481
1999 160.1 $89,426
Totals 7,981.6 $281,588,611

Highlighted State Programs

Proposed Legislation

House Bill 693, introduced by Rep. Jon Burns (R-159) during the 2015 legislative session, would establish the Georgia Legacy Trust Fund. The fund would receive 75 percent of all tax revenue collected annually from the sale of outdoor recreation equipment and would be dedicated for the purpose of the protection and preservation of conservation land. If passed, estimates suggest that approximately $32 million would be generated annually from this revenue stream.

Georgia Legacy seeks to:
1) Provide for the acquisition of critical areas for the provision or protection of clean water, game, wildlife, or fisheries, or natural-resource-based outdoor recreation.
2) Aid local governments in the acquisition and improvement of local parks and trails.
3) Provide for the stewardship of conservation lands through maintenance and restoration projects.

Preservation 2000

Initiated by the Governor in the late 1980s and early 1990s Preservation 2000 was funded through General Assembly and was designed to secure lands that provided for a variety of recreational uses, including parks and wildlife management areas. Preservation 2000 was completed in 2001 having protected more than 100,000 acres.

RiverCare 2000

RiverCare 2000 is a conservation program, which started in 1997 and ended in 2002. It consisted of three related tasks: assessing important river resources throughout the state, identifying more effective management tools for river corridors, and acquiring riverfront lands for the program. The Department of Natural Resources administered the program, with guidance from four citizens’ advisory groups. The program acquired more than 47,000 acres of riverfront land.

River Care 2000 Program sought specifically to protect wildlife management areas, parks, natural areas, greenways and similar sites along rivers and streams in Georgia. The Department of Natural Resources acquired and continues to manage these lands. It chiefly sought unaltered, old growth forest, and wetlands, including river bottom hardwood forests, Carolina bays, and other naturally occurring water features. RiverCare 2000 was funded mainly through state bond funds.

RiverCare 2000 and Preservation 2000 no longer exist.

Georgia Community Greenspace Program

The Georgia General Assembly created the Georgia Greenspace Program during the 2000 legislative session. The statute created a Georgia Greenspace Trust Fund, which was funded annually by the Georgia General Assembly. Greenspace grant funds are provided to assist local governments in carrying out their strategies for acquiring and permanently protecting land. In order to receive grants local governments had to create a Community Greenspace program and a Community Greenspace Trust Fund as specified by the statute.

The program was administered by the Department of Natural Resources. A five-member Georgia Greenspace Commission reviewed and approved community greenspace programs submitted by eligible counties. The statute defined "greenspace" as permanently protected land and water, including agricultural and forestry land, that is in its undeveloped, natural state or that has been developed only to the extent consistent with, or is restored to be consistent with, one or more listed goals for natural resource protection or informal recreation.

The Georgia Land Conservation Program replaced this program in 2005.

2006 29.6 $151,288
2005 160.4 $306,083
2004 2,691.5 $23,667,808
2003 4,657.7 $22,990,648
2002 1,584.1 $7,705,479
2001 541.7 $1,343,127
Total9,665.1 $56,164,435

Georgia Land Conservation Program

The Georgia Land Conservation Program, when funding is available, offers competitive grants for purchased outright (fee simple) or conservation easement acquisitions from the Georgia Land Conservation Trust Fund. It has been funded by state appropriations since its creation in 2005. It also offers low-interest loans for fee title or conservation easement purchases from the Georgia Land Conservation Revolving Fund. The program is administered by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and is directed by the Land Conservation Council, a mix of gubernatorial appointees and state agency heads.

The program provides funds to land conservation projects having one or more of the following purposes: water quality protection, flood and wetland protection,erosion prevention, wildlife habitat protection, maintenance of prime agricultural and forestry lands, scenic protection, provision of outdoor recreation, connecting conservation lands, or historic resource protection.

2011 1,307.0 $25,000
2010 2,327.9 $96,560
2009 19,206.0 $2,573,016
2008 4,441.6 $2,692,305
2007 7,712.1 $18,240,690
2006 306.1 $907,000
Total35,300.7 $24,534,571

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

DNR manages over one million acres of public land in state parks, natural areas, public fishing areas, and wildlife management areas. In addition to other funding sources noted here, the Department of Natural Resources also manages its own acquisitions priorities and funding streams to conserve the state’s natural resources. The DNR works with funds appropriated by the legislature annually to pursue land conservation opportunities. DNR also handles the certification for the conservation tax credit program and works closely with the Georgia Land Conservation Program.

2011 12,136.6 $30,620,405
2010 14,991.5 $19,172,039
2009 7,059.2 $36,517,123
2008 8,281.5 $19,406,851
2007 5,820.6 $17,426,261
2006 10,248.6 $7,022,831
2005 13,933.2 $9,359,634
2004 440.2 $107,193
2003 867.0 $2,470,661
2002 2,381.6 $11,872,360
2001 4,360.0 $16,844,437
2000 4,527.5 $10,049,090
1999 1,237.3 $2,804,590
1998 592.4 $2,333,038
Total86,877.1 $186,006,519

State Policy Framework

Substantial State Investment

Enable Local Financing

State Incentive for Local Land Conservation

Public-Private Partnerships

Conservation Tax Credits

Federal Partnerships

Some data was not provided on a yearly basis, but rather as an aggregate figure. In this case we have distributed total acres acquired and/or dollars spent evenly by year.