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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XVIII
PUBLIC LANDS AND PROPERTY
Chapter 253
STATE LANDS
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F.S. 253.034
253.034 State-owned lands; uses.
(1) All lands acquired pursuant to chapter 259 shall be managed to serve the public interest by protecting and conserving land, air, water, and the state’s natural resources, which contribute to the public health, welfare, and economy of the state. These lands shall be managed to provide for areas of natural resource based recreation, and to ensure the survival of plant and animal species and the conservation of finite and renewable natural resources. The state’s lands and natural resources shall be managed using a stewardship ethic that assures these resources will be available for the benefit and enjoyment of all people of the state, both present and future. It is the intent of the Legislature that, where feasible and consistent with the goals of protection and conservation of natural resources associated with lands held in the public trust by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, public land not designated for single-use purposes pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) be managed for multiple-use purposes. All multiple-use land management strategies shall address public access and enjoyment, resource conservation and protection, ecosystem maintenance and protection, and protection of threatened and endangered species, and the degree to which public-private partnerships or endowments may allow the entity with management responsibility to enhance its ability to manage these lands. The Acquisition and Restoration Council shall recommend rules to the board of trustees, and the board of trustees shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Multiple use” means the harmonious and coordinated management of timber, recreation, conservation of fish and wildlife, forage, archaeological and historic sites, habitat and other biological resources, or water resources so that they are used in the combination that will best serve the people of the state, making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources and giving consideration to the relative values of the various resources. Where necessary and appropriate for all state-owned lands that are larger than 1,000 acres in project size and are managed for multiple uses, buffers may be formed around any areas that require special protection or have special management needs. Such buffers may not exceed more than one-half of the total acreage. Multiple uses within a buffer area may be restricted to provide the necessary buffering effect desired. Multiple use in this context includes both uses of land or resources by more than one management entity, which may include private sector land managers. In any case, lands identified as multiple-use lands in the land management plan shall be managed to enhance and conserve the lands and resources for the enjoyment of the people of the state.
(b) “Single use” means management for one particular purpose to the exclusion of all other purposes, except that the using entity shall have the option of including in its management program compatible secondary purposes which will not detract from or interfere with the primary management purpose. Such single uses may include, but are not necessarily restricted to, the use of agricultural lands for production of food and livestock, the use of improved sites and grounds for institutional purposes, and the use of lands for parks, preserves, wildlife management, archaeological or historic sites, or wilderness areas where the maintenance of essentially natural conditions is important. All submerged lands shall be considered single-use lands and shall be managed primarily for the maintenance of essentially natural conditions, the propagation of fish and wildlife, and public recreation, including hunting and fishing where deemed appropriate by the managing entity.
(c) “Conservation lands” means lands that are currently managed for conservation, outdoor resource-based recreation, or archaeological or historic preservation, except those lands that were acquired solely to facilitate the acquisition of other conservation lands. Lands acquired for uses other than conservation, outdoor resource-based recreation, or archaeological or historic preservation may not be designated conservation lands except as otherwise authorized under this section. These lands shall include, but not be limited to, the following: correction and detention facilities, military installations and facilities, state office buildings, maintenance yards, state university or Florida College System institution campuses, agricultural field stations or offices, tower sites, law enforcement and license facilities, laboratories, hospitals, clinics, and other sites that do not possess significant natural or historical resources. However, lands acquired solely to facilitate the acquisition of other conservation lands, and for which the land management plan has not yet been completed or updated, may be evaluated by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund on a case-by-case basis to determine if they will be designated conservation lands.
(d) “Public access,” as used in this chapter and chapter 259, means access by the general public to state lands and water, including vessel access made possible by boat ramps, docks, and associated support facilities, where compatible with conservation and recreation objectives.

Lands acquired by the state as a gift, through donation, or by any other conveyance for which no consideration was paid, and which are not managed for conservation, outdoor resource-based recreation, or archaeological or historic preservation under a land management plan approved by the board of trustees are not conservation lands.

(3) Recognizing that recreational trails purchased with rails-to-trails funds pursuant to former s. 259.101(3)(g), Florida Statutes 2014, or s. 259.105(3)(h) have had historic transportation uses and that their linear character may extend many miles, the Legislature intends that if the necessity arises to serve public needs, after balancing the need to protect trail users from collisions with automobiles and a preference for the use of overpasses and underpasses to the greatest extent feasible and practical, transportation uses shall be allowed to cross recreational trails purchased pursuant to former s. 259.101(3)(g), Florida Statutes 2014, or s. 259.105(3)(h). When these crossings are needed, the location and design should consider and mitigate the impact on humans and environmental resources, and the value of the land shall be paid based on fair market value.
(4) A management agreement, lease, or other instrument authorizing the use of lands owned by the board of trustees may not be executed for a period greater than is necessary to provide for the reasonable use of the land for the existing or planned life cycle or amortization of the improvements, except that an easement in perpetuity may be granted by the board of trustees if the improvement is a transportation facility. If an entity managing or leasing state-owned lands from the board of trustees does not meet the short-term goals under paragraph (5)(b) for conservation lands, the Department of Environmental Protection may submit the lands to the Acquisition and Restoration Council to review whether the short-term goals should be modified, consider whether the lands should be offered to another entity for management or leasing, or recommend to the board of trustees whether to surplus the lands. If an entity managing or leasing state-owned lands from the board of trustees does not meet the short-term goals under paragraph (5)(i) for nonconservation lands, the department may submit the lands to the board of trustees to consider whether to require the managing or leasing entity to release its interest in the lands and to consider whether to surplus the lands. If the state-owned lands are determined to be surplus, the board of trustees may require an entity to release its interest in the lands. An entity managing or leasing state-owned lands from the board of trustees may not sublease such lands without prior review by the Division of State Lands and, for conservation lands, by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. All management agreements, leases, or other instruments authorizing the use of lands owned by the board of trustees shall be reviewed for approval by the board of trustees or its designee. The council is not required to review subleases of parcels which are less than 160 acres in size.
(5) Each manager of conservation lands shall submit to the Division of State Lands a land management plan at least every 10 years in a form and manner adopted by rule of the board of trustees and in accordance with s. 259.032. Each manager of conservation lands shall also update a land management plan whenever the manager proposes to add new facilities or make substantive land use or management changes that were not addressed in the approved plan, or within 1 year after the addition of significant new lands. Each manager of nonconservation lands shall submit to the Division of State Lands a land use plan at least every 10 years in a form and manner adopted by rule of the board of trustees. The division shall review each plan for compliance with the requirements of this subsection and the requirements of the rules adopted by the board of trustees pursuant to this section. All nonconservation land use plans, whether for single-use or multiple-use properties, shall be managed to provide the greatest benefit to the state. Plans for managed areas larger than 1,000 acres shall contain an analysis of the multiple-use potential of the property which includes the potential of the property to generate revenues to enhance the management of the property. In addition, the plan shall contain an analysis of the potential use of private land managers to facilitate the restoration or management of these lands. If a newly acquired property has a valid conservation plan that was developed by a soil and conservation district, such plan shall be used to guide management of the property until a formal land use plan is completed.
(a) State conservation lands shall be managed to ensure the conservation of the state’s plant and animal species and to ensure the accessibility of state lands for the benefit and enjoyment of all people of the state, both present and future. Each land management plan for state conservation lands shall provide a desired outcome, describe both short-term and long-term management goals, and include measurable objectives to achieve those goals. Short-term goals shall be achievable within a 2-year planning period, and long-term goals shall be achievable within a 10-year planning period. These short-term and long-term management goals shall be the basis for all subsequent land management activities.
(b) Short-term and long-term management goals for state conservation lands shall include measurable objectives for the following, as appropriate:
1. Habitat restoration and improvement.
2. Public access and recreational opportunities.
3. Hydrological preservation and restoration.
4. Sustainable forest management.
5. Exotic and invasive species maintenance and control.
6. Capital facilities and infrastructure.
7. Cultural and historical resources.
8. Imperiled species habitat maintenance, enhancement, restoration, or population restoration.
(c) The land management plan shall, at a minimum, contain the following elements:
1. A physical description of the land.
2. A quantitative data description of the land which includes an inventory of forest and other natural resources; exotic and invasive plants; hydrological features; infrastructure, including recreational facilities; and other significant land, cultural, or historical features. The inventory shall reflect the number of acres for each resource and feature, when appropriate. The inventory shall be of such detail that objective measures and benchmarks can be established for each tract of land and monitored during the lifetime of the plan. All quantitative data collected shall be aggregated, standardized, collected, and presented in an electronic format to allow for uniform management reporting and analysis. The information collected by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to s. 253.0325(2) shall be available to the land manager and his or her assignee.
3. A detailed description of each short-term and long-term land management goal, the associated measurable objectives, and the related activities that are to be performed to meet the land management objectives. Each land management objective must be addressed by the land management plan, and if practicable, a land management objective may not be performed to the detriment of the other land management objectives.
4. A schedule of land management activities which contains short-term and long-term land management goals and the related measurable objective and activities. The schedule shall include for each activity a timeline for completion, quantitative measures, and detailed expense and manpower budgets. The schedule shall provide a management tool that facilitates development of performance measures.
5. A summary budget for the scheduled land management activities of the land management plan. For state lands containing or anticipated to contain imperiled species habitat, the summary budget shall include any fees anticipated from public or private entities for projects to offset adverse impacts to imperiled species or such habitat, which fees shall be used solely to restore, manage, enhance, repopulate, or acquire imperiled species habitat. The summary budget shall be prepared in such manner that it facilitates computing an aggregate of land management costs for all state-managed lands using the categories described in s. 259.037(3).
(d) Upon completion, the land management plan must be transmitted to the Acquisition and Restoration Council for review. The council shall have 90 days after receipt of the plan to review the plan and submit its recommendations to the board of trustees. During the review period, the land management plan may be revised if agreed to by the primary land manager and the council taking into consideration public input. The land management plan becomes effective upon approval by the board of trustees.
(e) Land management plans are to be updated every 10 years on a rotating basis. Each updated land management plan must identify any conservation lands under the plan, in part or in whole, that are no longer needed for conservation purposes and could be disposed of in fee simple or with the state retaining a permanent conservation easement.
(f) In developing land management plans, at least one public hearing shall be held in any one affected county.
(g) The Division of State Lands shall make available to the public an electronic copy of each land management plan for parcels that exceed 160 acres in size. The division shall review each plan for compliance with the requirements of this subsection, the requirements of chapter 259, and the requirements of the rules adopted by the board of trustees pursuant to this section. The Acquisition and Restoration Council shall also consider the propriety of the recommendations of the managing entity with regard to the future use of the property, the protection of fragile or nonrenewable resources, the potential for alternative or multiple uses not recognized by the managing entity, and the possibility of disposal of the property by the board of trustees. After its review, the council shall submit the plan, along with its recommendations and comments, to the board of trustees. The council shall specifically recommend to the board of trustees whether to approve the plan as submitted, approve the plan with modifications, or reject the plan. If the council fails to make a recommendation for a land management plan, the Secretary of Environmental Protection, Commissioner of Agriculture, or executive director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or their designees shall submit the land management plan to the board of trustees.
(h) The board of trustees shall consider the land management plan submitted by each entity and the recommendations of the Acquisition and Restoration Council and the Division of State Lands and shall approve the plan with or without modification or reject such plan. The use or possession of any such lands that is not in accordance with an approved land management plan is subject to termination by the board of trustees.
(i)1. State nonconservation lands shall be managed to provide the greatest benefit to the state. State nonconservation lands may be grouped by similar land use types under one land use plan. Each land use plan shall, at a minimum, contain the following elements:
a. A physical description of the land to include any significant natural or cultural resources as well as management strategies developed by the land manager to protect such resources.
b. A desired development outcome.
c. A schedule for achieving the desired development outcome.
d. A description of both short-term and long-term development goals.
e. A management and control plan for invasive nonnative plants.
f. A management and control plan for soil erosion and soil and water contamination.
g. Measureable objectives to achieve the goals identified in the land use plan.
2. Short-term goals shall be achievable within a 5-year planning period and long-term goals shall be achievable within a 10-year planning period.
3. The use or possession of any such lands that is not in accordance with an approved land use plan is subject to termination by the board of trustees.
4. Land use plans submitted by a manager shall include reference to appropriate statutory authority for such use or uses and shall conform to the appropriate policies and guidelines of the state land management plan.
(6) This section does not affect:
(a) Other provisions of this chapter relating to oil, gas, or mineral resources.
(b) The exclusive use of state-owned land subject to a lease by the board of trustees of state-owned land for private uses and purposes.
(c) Sovereignty lands not leased for private uses and purposes.
(7)(a) The Legislature recognizes the value of the state’s conservation lands as water recharge areas and air filters.
(b) If state-owned lands are subject to annexation procedures, the Division of State Lands must notify the county legislative delegation of the county in which the land is located.
(8) Land management plans required to be submitted by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Children and Families, or the Department of Education are not subject to review by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. Management plans filed by these agencies shall be made available to the public for a period of 90 days at the administrative offices of the parcel or project affected by the management plan and at the Tallahassee offices of each agency. Any plans not objected to during the public comment period shall be deemed approved. Any plans for which an objection is filed shall be submitted to the board of trustees for consideration. The board of trustees shall approve the plan with or without modification, or reject the plan. The use or possession of any such lands which is not in accordance with an approved land management plan is subject to termination by the board of trustees.
(9) The following additional uses of conservation lands acquired pursuant to the Florida Forever program and other state-funded conservation land purchase programs shall be authorized, upon a finding by the board of trustees, if they meet the criteria specified in paragraphs (a)-(e): water resource development projects, water supply development projects, stormwater management projects, linear facilities, and sustainable agriculture and forestry. Such additional uses are authorized if:
(a) The use is not inconsistent with the management plan for such lands;
(b) The use is compatible with the natural ecosystem and resource values of such lands;
(c) The use is appropriately located on such lands and due consideration is given to the use of other available lands;
(d) The using entity reasonably compensates the titleholder for such use based upon an appropriate measure of value; and
(e) The use is consistent with the public interest.

A decision by the board of trustees pursuant to this section shall be given a presumption of correctness. Moneys received from the use of state lands pursuant to this section shall be returned to the lead managing entity in accordance with s. 259.032(9)(c).

(10) Lands listed as projects for acquisition may be managed for conservation pursuant to s. 259.032, on an interim basis by a private party in anticipation of a state purchase in accordance with a contractual arrangement between the acquiring agency and the private party that may include management service contracts, leases, cost-share arrangements or resource conservation agreements. Lands designated as eligible under this subsection shall be managed to maintain or enhance the resources the state is seeking to protect by acquiring the land. Funding for these contractual arrangements may originate from the documentary stamp tax revenue deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. No more than $6.2 million may be expended from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for this purpose.
(11) Any lands available to governmental employees, including water management district employees, for hunting or other recreational purposes shall also be made available to the general public for such purposes.
History.s. 2, ch. 80-280; s. 167, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 82-36; s. 3, ch. 83-223; s. 2, ch. 84-94; s. 4, ch. 84-197; s. 1, ch. 89-174; ss. 3, 4, 5, ch. 90-1; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 92-109; s. 25, ch. 94-237; s. 3, ch. 97-164; ss. 32, 38, ch. 98-46; ss. 40, 53, ch. 99-228; s. 10, ch. 99-247; s. 24, ch. 2000-152; s. 13, ch. 2000-157; s. 5, ch. 2000-170; s. 2, ch. 2001-275; s. 14, ch. 2003-6; s. 2, ch. 2003-394; s. 1, ch. 2004-35; s. 54, ch. 2004-269; s. 1, ch. 2004-296; s. 39, ch. 2005-71; s. 36, ch. 2006-26; s. 9, ch. 2006-69; s. 7, ch. 2007-6; s. 33, ch. 2007-73; s. 1, ch. 2007-141; s. 46, ch. 2008-4; s. 30, ch. 2008-153; s. 5, ch. 2008-229; s. 7, ch. 2009-20; s. 1, ch. 2009-77; s. 26, ch. 2009-82; s. 1, ch. 2009-196; s. 8, ch. 2010-4; s. 24, ch. 2010-153; ss. 7, 10, ch. 2010-280; SJR 8-A, 2010 Special Session A; s. 27, ch. 2011-47; s. 34, ch. 2013-15; s. 4, ch. 2013-16; s. 3, ch. 2013-152; s. 1, ch. 2013-226; s. 33, ch. 2014-17; s. 49, ch. 2014-19; s. 16, ch. 2015-229; s. 8, ch. 2016-233; s. 9, ch. 2017-3.