2021 Georgia Code
Title 12 - Conservation and Natural Resources
Chapter 2 - Department of Natural Resources
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 12-2-4. Powers and Duties of Department

Universal Citation: GA Code § 12-2-4 (2021)
  1. The department shall make investigations of the natural mining industry and commercial resources of the state and shall take such measures as it may deem best suited to promote the conservation and development of such resources.
  2. The department shall have the care of the state parks and other recreational areas now owned or to be acquired by the state.
  3. Reserved.
  4. The department shall make such examination, survey, and mapping of the geology, mineralogy, and topography of the state, including their industrial and economic utilization, as it may consider necessary.
  5. The department shall make an investigation of the water supply and water power of the state with recommendations and plans for promoting their more profitable use and shall take such measures as it may consider necessary to promote their development.
  6. The department shall make investigations of existing conditions of trade, commerce, and industry in the state, paying particular attention to the causes which may hinder or encourage their growth, and may devise and recommend such plans as may be considered best suited to promote the development of their interests.
  7. The department may take such other measures as it may deem advisable to obtain and make public a more complete knowledge of the state and its resources, and it is authorized to cooperate with other departments and agencies of the state in obtaining and making public such information. It shall be the duty of the department to arrange and classify the facts derived from its investigations so as to provide a general source of information in regard to the state, its advantages, and its resources.
  8. The department shall prepare a report to be submitted by the Governor to each General Assembly, showing the nature and progress of the department.
  9. The department shall from time to time prepare for print or electronic publication reports and statements, with illustrations, maps, and other descriptions which adequately set forth the natural and material resources of the state and its industrial and commercial development, with a view toward furnishing information to educate the people regarding the material advantages of the state, to encourage and foster the existing industries, and to present inducements for investments in new enterprises. Such reports and information shall be published and distributed as the department may direct, at the expense of the state, as other public documents.
  10. It is the intent and purpose, in creating the Department of Natural Resources, that the department shall confer with, cooperate with, and work in harmony with the Department of Economic Development on all new activities of the Department of Natural Resources.
  11. The department shall without any fee therefor accept applications for certification of environmentally sensitive conservation use property or constructed storm water wetland conservation use property as provided for in Code Section 48-5-7.4 and shall certify property to local boards of tax assessors and to the applicable local governing authority as meeting or not meeting the criteria of such Code section.

(Ga. L. 1937, p. 264, § 8; Ga. L. 1981, p. 838, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 12; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1641, § 7; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1903, § 12; Ga. L. 2003, p. 271, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 690, § 7; Ga. L. 2005, p. 60, § 12/HB 95; Ga. L. 2010, p. 838, § 11/SB 388.)

Cross references.

- Powers and duties of Environmental Protection Division as to mineral and geological resources, § 12-4-1.

Powers and duties of department relating to game and fish laws, T. 27.

Bona fide conservation use property, § 48-5-7.4.

Authority of department to convey property for purposes of constructing and operating boat-launching ramps thereon, § 50-16-45.

Powers and duties of department with regard to boat safety, § 52-7-1 et seq.

Powers and duties of department with regard to river and harbor development, T. 52, C. 9.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1989, p. 1641, § 18, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "In the event of any substantive conflict between this Act and any other Act of the 1989 General Assembly, such other Act shall control over this Act."

Ga. L. 1991, p. 1903, § 14, effective April 24, 1991, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "To assist counties and boards of education in planning, volumes of standing timber harvested in each county through the last business day of the second and third quarters of 1991 shall be reported by the purchaser, or by the harvester if there is no purchaser, to the tax assessors of the county or counties in which the timber was harvested by November 15, 1991. Such reports shall show the number of pounds, if available, or measured volume of softwood and hardwood pulpwood, chip and saw logs, saw timber, poles, posts, and fuel wood so harvested. The commissioner, after consultation with the Georgia Forestry Commission, shall provide the tax assessor of each county with the weighted average unit price in pounds and measured volume paid through the last business day of such period for each such product class, no later than November 15, 1991."

Ga. L. 1991, p. 1903, § 15, provides that the amendment to this Code section shall be applicable beginning January 1, 1992, with respect to ad valorem taxation of timber and shall be applicable beginning January 1, 1992, for all other purposes. Taxation for prior periods shall continue to be governed by prior law.

Ga. L. 2003, p. 271, § 3, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment by that Act to subsection (k) is applicable to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2004.

Law reviews.

- For note, "Regulation of Artificial Lakes and Recreational Subdivisions in Georgia," recommending methods for future regulation, see 8 Ga. St. B.J. 580 (1972). For note on 1991 amendment of this Code section, see 8 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 182 (1992).


Appointment of park personnel as peace officers authorized.

- Commissioner of natural resources has the authority to make appointments of department personnel as peace officers at the direction of the Governor. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-155.

Commissioner decides authority to attach prejudice to former employee's record.

- Commissioner of conservation (now commissioner of natural resources) should decide who has the specific authority to attach prejudice to the record of an employee separated from a division of the Department of Mines, Mining, and Geology (now Department of Natural Resources). 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-62.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 61B Am. Jur. 2d, Pollution Control, §§ 2, 3, 4, 5, 7. 63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees, § 43.


- 39A C.J.S., Health and Environment, § 120. 73 C.J.S., Public Administrative Law and Procedure, § 2 et seq. 81A C.J.S., States, § 266.

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