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.