The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division will hold eight public meetings across the state in order to accept public input on the recently completed “Report of the Land Management Steering Committee.” Certain recommendations of the committee can be enacted only through regulations. Public input is key to developing these regulations.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMMITTEE AND REPORT
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has encountered dramatic challenges in recent years, including consecutive years of budget cuts (42% since FY2008) in combination with providing for a population that is growing rapidly and diversifying. These challenges call for innovative approaches and reassessing the way business is done.
The Department identified a steering committee to explore potential changes. The 28-person Land Management Steering Committee (LMSC) was composed of representatives from a diverse range of stakeholders and users including other governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations.
The Commissioner charged the group with specific marketing objectives and the committee began work on the task of to assessing the marketing implications of the wide range of names for DNR lands and assessing the potential of WRD-managed lands to recover costs associated with providing recreational services. The LMSC convened several times to address these issues and produce recommendations which were presented to the public for comment through a series of four public meetings in mid-2010. This report summarizes this effort and shares committee recommendations.
PUBLIC INPUT AT UPCOMING MEETINGS
Those interested in this report and wishing to provide public input should make plans to attend the scheduled public meetings. All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. on the following dates and at these locations:
January 3, 2011
· Albany Technical College-Kirkland Conference Center (1704 S. Slappey Blvd., Albany, GA)
· Little Ocmulgee State Park (80 Live Oak Trail, Helena, GA); Conference Room
January 4, 2011
· Augusta Technical College Auditorium (388 Tech Drive, NW, Thomson, GA)
· The Colonnade Center (264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, GA)
January 5, 2011
· College of Coastal Georgia Auditorium (3700 Altama Ave., Brunswick, GA)
· Georgia Forestry Commission (5645 Riggins Mill Rd., Dry Branch, GA)
January 6, 2011
· Franklin Springs City Hall (2135 East Main Street, Franklin Springs, GA)
· Smyrna Community Center – Banquet Hall (200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA)
Any participant at a meeting may present data, make a statement or comment, or offer a viewpoint or argument, either orally or in writing. Statements should be concise to permit everyone an opportunity to speak. Participants must register upon arrival and notify the registering official of their intent to give a statement. Those unable to attend a meeting may submit written statements by January 14, 2011. Statements should be mailed to:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife Resources Division
Game Management Section
Attn: John Bowers
2070 U.S. Highway 278, SE
Social Circle, Georgia 30025
These meeting sites are accessible to people with physical disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Brandon Anderson at (770) 761-3045 no later than Dec. 27, 2010.
For more information on the scheduled public meetings, visit the Wildlife Resources Division Website at www.gohuntgeorgia.com .