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Chapter 267-26 THE GEORGIA LAND CONSERVATION TRUST FUND

Rule 267-26-.01 Purpose

In compliance with the "Fair and Open Grants" Article of the "Budget Accountability and Planning Act of 1993," following is the information on a grant program being implemented in the year of 2007.

Rule 267-26-.02 The Name of the Grant Program

The Georgia Land Conservation Trust Fund.

Rule 267-26-.03 The Citation to Statutory Basis for the Grant Program in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated or Other General Law of the State of Georgia

The Georgia Land Conservation Trust Fund is authorized and established in accordance with the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 36-22-1, et seq.

Rule 267-26-.04 The General Scope and Purpose of the Grant Program

The scope of the Trust Fund is to provide grant funding to permanently protect land and water, or interests therein, that is in its undeveloped, natural state or that has been developed only to an extent that does not interfere with its conservation value.

Rule 267-26-.05 General Terms and Conditions of the Grant

The following types of resources will be eligible for consideration in meeting the scope of the Trust Fund:

(A) Water quality protection for rivers, streams, and lakes;
(B) Flood protection;
(C) Wetlands protection;
(D) Reduction of erosion through protection of steep slopes, areas with erodible soils, and stream banks;
(E) Protection of riparian buffers and other areas that serve as natural habitat and corridors for native plant and animal species;
(F) Protection of prime agricultural and forestry lands;
(G) Protection of cultural sites, heritage corridors, and archaeological and historic resources;
(H) Scenic protection;
(I) Provision of recreation in the form of boating, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, running, jogging, biking, walking, and similar outdoor activities; and
(J) Connection of existing or planned areas contributing to the goals set out in this paragraph.

Authority O.C.G.A. 36-22-2(5)

Cities or counties may develop, submit and sponsor a 'community land conservation project' to protect locally identified land resources with high environmental values or conservation benefits.

Authority O.C.G.A. 36-22-2(3)

$5 million has been appropriated for land conservation trust fund grants.

Rule 267-26-.06 Eligible Recipients of the Grant

Local governments as defined in O.C.G.A. 50-23-4(7).

Rule 267-26-.07 The Criteria for the Award of the Grant

The policy(ies) of the Program shall identify the criteria by which all land conservation project applications shall be reviewed by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority and the Department of Natural Resources and approved by the Land Conservation Council.

Authority O.C.G.A. 36-22-8(a)-(d)

The Council shall use, at a minimum, the following criteria in granting project approval:

(1) The project shall promote the permanent protection of conservation land;
(2) The identification and commitment to the employment of local land use ordinances and local conservation and preservation ordinances, policies, and regulations which further the achievement of the permanent protection of conservation land; and
(3) Project proposals that are multi-jurisdictional in scope or regional in impact will receive additional ranking points.

Authority O.C.G.A. 36-22-8(f)

See the website www.GLCP.org for additional information about project criteria.

Rule 267-26-.08 Directions and Deadlines for Applying for Such Grant

Applications are received at any time during the year. Applicants interested in applying for grant funds are encouraged to request a grant application package from the Georgia Land Conservation Program by calling 404/584-1101 or it can be downloaded from the Georgia Land Conservation Program website: www.GLCP.org.