New Coordinator Focused on Increaing Hunting and Shooting Sports Participation in Georgia

Charles Evans has been hired to serve as Georgia’s R3 coordinator.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division has partnered with four conservation organizations to fund a position dedicated to recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) of hunters and shooters.

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) partnered with the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, Wildlife Management Institute and numerous other organizations, to put together a national plan to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts.  The creation of this position was provided through a partnership between the NWTF, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Quality Deer Management Association and Safari Club International.

“People ask why it is important to put so much emphasis on recruitment, retention and reactivation,” said Dan Forster, Director of the Wildlife Resources Division who chairs the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports.  “It is because these agencies have a vested interest in increased participation in hunting and shooting sports.  A majority of conservation funding in this country is provided through purchases of hunting licenses and excise tax on firearms, ammunition and shooting sports equipment.”

“Georgia has been involved since the genesis of the national plan and is eager to implement recruitment, retention and reactivation at a local level,” said Mark Whitney, Assistant Director of the Wildlife Resources Division who also serves on the R3 national initiative.

The role of this new R3 coordinator is to develop and implement a plan that engages state agencies, conservation organizations and other stakeholders to increase the effectiveness of outdoor education and mentored hunt opportunities for people of all ages, genders and abilities.  Charles Evans has been hired to serve as Georgia’s R3 coordinator.

“I come from a long line of outdoorsmen and to be able to take on a position that will be fundamental in ensuring the future of hunting and shooting sports is a dream come true,” said Evans about his new position.

Evans is a Georgia native with deep outdoor roots. From a young age, he has been an avid sportsman and conservationist. He earned his wildlife biology bachelor and master’s degrees from University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

For more about the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, visit For more on NWTF, visit

Deal Announces Sixth Record Year in International Trade

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that the state experienced a record increase in total trade for the sixth consecutive calendar year, maintaining its national ranking as the 11th-largest exporting state and seventh largest importing state.

“We proudly offer access to the fastest-growing port in the nation, the world’s busiest airport and a collaborative business environment unmatched by other states,” said Deal. “These assets provide a gateway for Georgia companies to thrive in global markets, and Georgia’s international representation is well-aligned to support them. Today’s news further demonstrates that international trade remains an important economic driver for our state.”

 In 2015, the state’s imports increased by 5.7 percent to $88.55 billion and companies in Georgia exported to 217 unique countries and territories—representing a $35 billion sum. Georgia led the nation in the export of chemical woodpulp, poultry, kraft paper and paperboard, carpets, Kaolin and chemical products such as insecticides. The top export industries were aircraft/spacecraft, non-electric machinery, non-railway vehicles, electrical machinery and paper/paperboard, making up 56 percent of Georgia’s total exports.

Georgia’s top 10 export destinations accounted for 56 percent of total exports; the top five export countries accounted for 41 percent. Canada remains Georgia’s largest export partner, followed by Mexico, China, the United Kingdom and Germany.

“Georgia’s global connectivity is a critical factor in the state’s competitiveness and economic development,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Chris Carr. “We know that international trade means quality jobs and investment for our state, and our international trade team will continue to work with exporters, communities and private-sector partners to create new market opportunities for Georgia products and services.”

The state’s imports outpaced exports by approximately $50 billion. Georgia ranked first in the Southeast in dollar value of imports. The state’s top five import partners were China, Germany, South Korea, Mexico and Japan, accounting for 61 percent of total imports.

To celebrate companies who have entered into new international markets, Deal will recognize the 2015 GLOBE (Georgia Launching Opportunities by Exporting) Award winners at the Go Global reception on March 8. For more details on the event, visit

To read the full  import/export report, please click here.

About the International Trade division

The GDEcD’s International Trade division, with the support of international representatives in 11 key global markets, provides free export services and assistance to Georgia companies.

Deal Announces Additional Investment in Medical Schools

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the state will invest an additional $70 million in two medical schools as a result of a settlement agreement offer from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The recipients, Morehouse School of Medicine and Mercer University, were selected based on their continued efforts to place graduates in rural and underserved areas throughout the state.

“The state should receive these funds as a result of a health care lawsuit settlement regarding Medicaid reimbursements,” said Deal. “It is only fitting that we in turn invest this money in health care education programs, particularly those that prioritize placing primary care physician graduates in high-demand areas throughout the state. Likewise, this funding fulfills a decades-old commitment made to Mercer University by the state. With this investment in its health care program, we are making good on that promise. Finally, we look forward to continue working with these two medical schools to advance their health care training and delivery efforts.”

“Morehouse School of Medicine is extremely pleased and honored that Gov. Deal continues to recognize the significant contributions that we are making to increase the number of primary care providers who practice in underserved urban and rural communities in the state of Georgia,” said President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine  Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice. “This additional investment from our state lawmakers will allow us to continue to increase the enrollment of our medical school and residency programs, as well as ensure increased access to innovative and critical health services for the residents of our state.”

“We are grateful to Gov. Deal and members of the General Assembly for their ongoing and steadfast commitment to improving the delivery of healthcare to Georgians in rural and underserved areas of our State, including exploring new and innovative approaches to meeting rural health challenges, said Mercer University President William D. Underwood. Mercer University is committed to use these funds to make a profound difference in the education of future physicians from Georgia. These funds will directly support future physicians who demonstrate a commitment to providing primary care in areas of the greatest need.”