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.



Palmetto Berry Theft Enforcement

Legislation aimed at addressing issues with the theft and law enforcement of Saw Palmetto Berries. 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. Currently, GFA is pursuing legislation to resolve these issues through SB 407, sponsored by Sen. Tyler Harper, and HB 966, sponsored by Rep. James Burchett.
SB 407 / HB 966 Issue Briefs

A Strong Focus on Timber Security and Trespass Laws

In 2014, GFA advocated in favor of legislation to increase the security of private forestland in cases of timber theft. In addition, the Government Affairs Team is currently reviewing Georgia's trespass laws to ensure that landowners property is sufficiently protected from trespass.

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.

Tom Beyer

Vice President of Government Affairs