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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 260
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F.S. 260.016
260.016 General powers of the department.
(1) The department may:
(a) Publish and distribute appropriate maps of designated greenways and trails.
(b) Adopt appropriate rules to implement or interpret this chapter and portions of chapter 253 relating to greenways and trails, which may include, but are not limited to, rules for the following:
1. Establishing a designation process.
2. Negotiating and executing agreements with private landowners.
3. Establishing prohibited activities or restrictions on activities to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
4. Charging fees for use.
5. Providing public access to the greatest extent possible while avoiding unnecessary impact upon sensitive environments such as wetlands or animal habitats, wherever encountered.
6. Providing for maintenance.
7. Any matter necessary to the evaluation, selection, operation, and maintenance of greenways and trails.

Any person who violates or otherwise fails to comply with the rules adopted pursuant to subparagraph 3. commits a noncriminal infraction for which a fine of up to $500 may be imposed.

(c) Coordinate the activities of all governmental units and bodies and special districts that desire to participate in the development and implementation of the Florida Greenways and Trails System.
(d) Establish, develop, and publicize greenways and trails in a manner that will permit public recreation when appropriate without damaging natural resources and avoiding unnecessary impact upon sensitive environments such as wetlands or animal habitats, wherever encountered. The Big Bend Historic Saltwater Paddling Trail from the St. Marks River to Yankeetown is hereby designated as part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System. Additions to this trail may be added by the Legislature or the department from time to time as part of the Florida Circumnavigation Saltwater Paddling Trail created in s. 260.019.
(e) Enter into agreements with any federal, state, or local governmental agency, or any other entity for the management of greenways and trails for recreation and conservation purposes consistent with the intent of this chapter. Such entities must demonstrate their capabilities of management for the purposes defined in this chapter.
(f) Charge reasonable fees or rentals for the use or operation of facilities and concessions. All such fees, rentals, or other charges collected shall be deposited in the account or trust fund of the managing entity.
(g) Receive or accept from any legal source, grants for the purpose of providing or improving public greenways and trails, and the department is authorized to disburse funds as pass-through grants to federal, state, or local government agencies, recognized tribal units, or to nonprofit entities created for this purpose. The department has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this subsection. Such rules shall provide, but are not limited to, the following: procedures for grant administration and accountability; eligibility, selection criteria; maximum grant amounts and number of pending grants; dedication requirements; and conversion procedures and requirements.
(2) The department shall:
(a) Evaluate lands for the acquisition of greenways and trails and compile a list of suitable corridors, greenways, and trails, ranking them in order of priority for proposed acquisition. The department shall devise a method of evaluation which includes, but is not limited to, the consideration of the importance and function of such corridors within the statewide system as reflected on the opportunity maps and landowners’ willingness to negotiate.
(b) Maintain an updated list of abandoned and to-be-abandoned railroad rights-of-way.
(c) Provide information to public and private agencies and organizations on abandoned rail corridors which are or will be available for acquisition from the railroads or for lease for interim recreational use from the Department of Transportation.
(d) Develop and implement a process for designation of lands and waterways as a part of the statewide system of greenways and trails, which shall include:
1. Development and dissemination of criteria for designation, including, but not limited to, criteria for prioritization of regionally significant trails within or connected to the Florida wildlife corridor as described in s. 259.1055.
2. Development and dissemination of criteria for changes in the terms or conditions of designation, including withdrawal or termination of designation. A landowner may have his or her lands removed from designation by providing the department with a written request that contains an adequate description of such lands to be removed. Provisions shall be made in the designation agreement for disposition of any future improvements made to the land by the department.
3. Public notice pursuant to s. 120.525 in all phases of the process.
4. Written authorization from the landowner in the form of a lease or other instrument for the designation and granting of public access, if appropriate, to a landowner’s property.
5. A greenway or trail use plan as a part of the designation agreement which shall, at a minimum, describe the types and intensities of uses of the property.
(e) Implement the plan for the Florida Greenways and Trails System as adopted by the Florida Greenways Coordinating Council on September 11, 1998.
(3) The department or its designee is authorized to negotiate with potentially affected private landowners as to the terms under which such landowners would consent to the public use of their lands as part of the greenways and trails system. The department shall be authorized to agree to incentives for a private landowner who consents to this public use of his or her lands for conservation or recreational purposes, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) Retention by the landowner of certain specific rights in his or her lands, including, but not limited to, the right to farm, hunt, graze, harvest timber, or use the lands for other purposes which are consistent with use as greenways or trails.
(b) Agreement to exchange, subject to the approval of the board or other applicable unit of government, ownership or other rights of use of public lands for the ownership or other rights of use of privately owned lands. Any exchange of state-owned lands, title to which is vested in the board, for privately owned lands shall be subject to the requirements of s. 253.025.
(c) Contracting with the landowner to provide management or other services on the lands.
(d) At the option of the landowner, acceleration of the acquisition process or higher consideration in the ranking process when any lands owned by the landowner are under consideration for acquisition by the state or other unit of government.
(e) At the option of the landowner, removal of any lands owned by the landowner from consideration for acquisition by the state or other unit of government.
(f) Execution of patrol and protection agreements.
(g) Where applicable and appropriate, providing lease fees, not to exceed fair market value of the leasehold interest.
History.s. 6, ch. 79-110; ss. 5, 8, ch. 87-328; s. 6, ch. 88-303; s. 5, ch. 91-62; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 96-389; s. 8, ch. 98-336; s. 36, ch. 99-13; s. 26, ch. 99-247; s. 31, ch. 2000-197; s. 17, ch. 2003-6; s. 1, ch. 2003-31; s. 14, ch. 2003-394; s. 8, ch. 2005-87; s. 34, ch. 2007-5; s. 36, ch. 2016-233; s. 3, ch. 2023-20.