Congressman Doug Collins: Northeast GA To Benefit From Fed Land Sale

Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA-09) issued a press release yesterday concerning the federal land sale of under-used tracts of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest:

Today, Congressman Doug Collins (GA-09) introduced the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Land Adjustment Act to facilitate transfer of under-used U.S. Forest Service lands to private hands, a move to boost Northeast Georgia’s recreation and economy.

“This bill would eliminate federal waste, saving taxpayer money, and provide more opportunities to Georgians from around the state to enjoy our beautiful region,” said the Ninth District Republican.

Under Rep. Collins’ bill, H.R. 470, the Forest Service would sell remote tracts at market value and buy others with the proceeds, consolidating holdings to improve fishing, hunting and hiking. Nearby counties, currently providing unreimbursed services to federal lands, would also begin to collect tax revenue from new private owners.

The Forest Service approached conservation groups with its proposal to unload remote tracts of Georgia’s lone national forest in 2014. “This is a win at both the state and local levels,” explained Rep. Collins. “It’s an economic win, too, that will create investment and jobs.”

The Outdoor Industry Association has valued consumer spending on outdoor activities in Georgia at $23.3 billion and related wages and salaries at $7 billion. The state’s consumer spending on outdoor activity ranks 5th nationally.

Discuss.

9 comments

  1. Max Power says:

    Isn’t this just the House version of S. 2604 introduced by Saxby last year? Here’s an idea instead of selling the land why don’t we give it back to the folks it was stolen from and maybe we can get a federally recognized tribe in Georgia.

  2. saltycracker says:

    The private hands that would have the best chance of protecting the public would be involvement and oversight by groups like The Nature Conservancy.

    This is a scam, code words: “….begin to collect tax revenue from new private owners.”

  3. Will Durant says:

    Warning Will Robinson!!! The buying and selling of public lands has almost always been a cesspool of corruption. How are they currently “under-used”? For timber or recreation? How does it benefit the public to sell public lands to which they currently have access into private hands? If purchased by private conservancy groups how does this benefit the counties since their property taxes are just a pittance? Ditto for timber land. The Forest Service and BLM have not always been above reproach on these deals either. Without specifying exact plans and which tracts would be sold along with which tracts would be purchased this bill should be red flagged.

  4. mountainpass says:

    I use the forest for recreation monthly, sometimes weekly. I’d hate to learn a place I love would now be off-limits. Too many FS roads are already gated. What parcels are in question? Does any of said land contact any land owned by Mr Collins or his family?

  5. FranInAtlanta says:

    Selling Federally owned lands (or buildings which don’t do so well) has always been one of the backups for how we pay down the debt. If we are selling property and using it for “living expenses” we are removing a safety net, aren’t we?

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