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Tag-fee changes to help Georgias wildlife
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JEKYLL ISLAND — Georgia’s five wildlife license plates soon will cost less and provide more support for conserving Georgia wildlife.
Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 881 into law Monday at Jekyll Island. The legislation rolls back the cost of buying or renewing a wildlife plate to $25 and dedicates more than 75 percent of fees to the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division programs that depend on them. With this law change, wildlife plates will cost $25 to buy or renew. Of that, $19 of each purchase and $20 for a renewal will go to help wildlife.
Passed in this year’s General Assembly and sponsored by Rep. Buber Epps, R-Dry Branch, and Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, the changes are scheduled to take effect July 1.
“I want to thank Gov. Deal, the General Assembly and our stakeholder groups for their support of this legislation and Georgia’s wildlife programs,” DNR Commissioner Mark Williams said.
The plates sporting an eagle, quail, trout or hummingbird provide funds for conserving rare and other wildlife, such as gopher tortoises and swallow-tailed kites. Tags have helped acquire thousands of acres of wildlands open to Georgians, restore bobwhite quail and habitats, and enhance trout fisheries. Since Wildlife Resources Division work focused on quail and nongame — wildlife not legally fished for or hunted — receives no state appropriations, tag sales and renewals are the main source of local funds.
“I hope these very positive pricing changes, along with our new designs, will encourage Georgians to purchase these license plates and support Georgia’s wildlife,” said Dan Forster, DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division director.
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