Private Property Rights


By protecting private property rights, Georgia’s 22 million acres of privately-owned forests will continue to provide a myriad of economic and environmental benefits.

Today, more than 91 percent of the forested acres in Georgia are privately-owned, and the majority of landowners in the state are private, family landowners. GFA is focused on sustaining private landowners by advocating for the protection of their property and key management functions such as harvesting in compliance with Best Management Practices for Water Quality and the use of prescribed fire. In addition, GFA encourages responsible use of Eminent Domain, and a recognition of the fair market value of timberland.



Hunting Without Permission

House Bill 343 was signed into law to strengthen Georgia’s current hunting without permission statute to address the issue of poaching on private property that GFA members have reported on their lands. GFA worked closely with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)—whose game wardens enforce this law on the ground—to come up with the best changes to improve their ability to catch, charge, and ultimately deter poachers.
HB 343 Issue Brief

Palmetto Berry Theft Enforcement

In 2020, Senate Bill 407 was singed into law to address issues with the theft and law enforcement of Saw Palmetto Berries. The legislation creates strong, enforceable supply chain controls through a “Certificate of Harvest” system that will make it easier for law enforcement to distinguish good actors from bad ones.
SB 407 Issue Brief

Monitoring Issues Related to Stream and Water Quality

Georgia landowners are managing their land in compliance with the State’s Best Management Practices. GFA monitors policy related to changing the definition of streamside buffers and other regulations that erode private property rights.

Responsibility with Eminent Domain

In cases where state or municipal government has authorized the use of eminent domain (i.e. pipelines or right-of-way access), GFA advocates for the landowner’s right to sell the right to that property at fair market value.


If you have any questions about issues related to Private Property Rights, please contact us.

Jake Matthews

Vice President of Government Affairs