Your membership helps support our ongoing public education, ecological monitoring, and proactive involvement in the management of Georgia’s National Forests. These 867,510 acres protect critical clean water supplies, rare animal habitat and offer unparalleled recreation opportunities for all Georgians.
➜ Member Benefits:
Members are eligible to receive a free Georgia’s Mountain Treasures Book! Members also receive Forest News, our quarterly newsletter; Action Alerts regarding time-sensitive environmental issues; Early bird Outing Notifications to find out about exciting hikes, outings, and events
Ways to Donate
Georgia ForestWatch accepts checks, credit card donations, stock, and life insurance. You may give securely on-line OR mail checks to Georgia ForestWatch, 81 Crown Mountain Place, Bldg. C, Suite 200, Dahlonega, GA 30533. Call us if you have any questions: 706-867-0051. All donations are fully tax deductible and help us with all aspects of protecting your forests. These general funds are applied where most urgently needed.
Forest Legacy Partners: Your gift is designed to ensure your values live on after you, some planned giving options may have immediate benefits in the now, such as: reducing your income tax liability; increasing your current income or that of a designated beneficiary; avoiding capital gains tax; and/or passing assets on to family members while paying less tax
Memorial/Honorary donations allow you to pay tribute to someone special and help create a lasting forest legacy. Please submit your donation to 81 Crown Mountain Pl, Bldg C, Suite 200, Dahlonega, GA 30533. Be sure to indicate whether your donation is “In Honor” or “In Memory” and the contact information of the individual if you would like acknowledgement sent to them. Please feel free to send any other information you would like to share. Click here for our online form.
Workplace Giving: You can also make your contribution through workplace giving if your company has an EarthShare program. If it doesn’t have an EarthShare program, contact us to find out how to make that happen!
Retirement Funds: Retirement funds are taxed as income to your heirs and may be subject to estate tax. If you would like to name Georgia ForestWatch as the beneficiary of some or all of your 401k, Keogh, or other IRA, these funds would pass to ForestWatch tax-free, with no estate tax for your heirs. Your attorney or your employer’s human resource department can provide the necessary form to designate Georgia ForestWatch as a beneficiary.
If you are 70½ years old and have a traditional, tax-deferred IRA, the government requires that you take “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMDs) every year. The RMDs are payouts from your IRA that increase each year beyond your 70½ th birthday. If you would like to save on taxes and give the money to Georgia ForestWatch, click here to learn more.
Stock Gifts: If you would like to donate stocks, bonds, or other securities, please contact our office manager at 706-867-0051. Transferring stock is an excellent way for you to make a donation to ForestWatch because neither you nor ForestWatch pays a capital gains tax on the appreciated value. We sell the stock immediately and you receive notification of the sale price so that you may record the full market value as a charitable deduction.
Life Insurance: You may want to make Georgia ForestWatch the beneficiary of some or all of your life insurance policy if you have grown children and other loved one who are provided for in other ways in your estate plan. Contact your attorney or your life insurance agent to obtain the necessary forms to make Georgia ForestWatch, Inc., a beneficiary (Federal Tax ID 58-2188475).
Bequests: The simplest type of planned gift is a bequest in your will. Bequests may reduce estate taxes and allow you to make a larger gift than you are able to make during your lifetime. Bequests may be:
- A percentage of your total estate;
- A specific amount of cash, stock or real estate;
- A percentage of the remainder of your estate after other distributions are made; or
- A percentage or amount contingent on other conditions being met, such as having a loved one predecease you.
If you already have a will, your lawyer may simply add a codicil stating: “I give and bequeath to Georgia ForestWatch, Inc, 81 Crown Mountain Place, Building C Suite 200, Dahlonega, GA 30533, Federal Tax ID 58-2188475.”
As our planet and climate continues to change, so must Georgia ForestWatch as an organization. Coming in as the new Executive Director has been a heartwarming experience, and while I strive to learn each of your names and more about the organization’s history and role, I also see the need to grow in parallel with our expanding concerns. Our mission and vision are clear, our direction is promising, and our organization is outstanding and healthy with unlimited potential, but the challenges we face as we move forward are equally complex and concerning. Climate change, stakeholders who embrace the commercialization of our public lands, elected officials actively working against ensuring our forest’s health for future generations, polluting corporations, and invasive species are all threats we increasingly face that need to be actively addressed. I am, however, eternally optimistic, that together we can use our collective voice to address and overcome any challenge in front of us.
Georgia ForestWatch has a 36-year history of working closely with the U.S. Forest Service and the staff and leadership of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. I strive to continue building upon that working relationship to ensure our forests are healthy and vibrant, with the space to breathe, for all of us who wish to enjoy the forests in their natural and proper state and for our forests to remain healthy for future generations in perpetuity. To do so we must reduce, or even eliminate, the amount of commercial timber harvesting and road building taking place and planned, continue the removal of invasive species, and monitor stream sedimentation and the improper use of roads that contribute to its increase. While recreational uses of our forests and public lands are increasing, Georgia ForestWatch must support expanded opportunities for those who want to experience our forests, but must also educate our communities on how to not “love our forests to death”. Expanding upon our outreach and public education to reach broader stakeholders is a goal we must embrace. Lastly, climate change is no longer a theoretical event predicted for the future but is a reality in our lives today. While there are many approaches needed to alleviate and reverse climate change, there is no solution to climate change that does not include healthy and sustainable national forests.
I deeply appreciate the warm welcome I have received as the new Executive Director and thank Jess Riddle, and all of his predecessors, for their role in making the organization successful. As I assume my new role I stand on the shoulders of giants, including many of you who have supported this wonderful organization for decades. I look forward to getting to know you better and hopefully, with your help, will not only increase the voice and effectiveness of the organization but be a welcome member of the Georgia ForestWatch family.
J. D. McCrary