OUTDOOR RECREATION AND CONSERVATION LANDS
375.011 Short title.
375.021 Comprehensive multipurpose outdoor recreation plan.
375.031 Acquisition of land; procedures.
375.032 Recreation; required purpose for purchase.
375.041 Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
375.044 Land Acquisition Trust Fund budget request.
375.051 Issuance of revenue bonds subject to constitutional authorization.
375.065 Public beaches; financial and other assistance by Department of Environmental Protection to local governments.
375.075 Outdoor recreation; financial assistance to local governments.
375.251 Limitation on liability of persons making available to public certain areas for recreational purposes without charge.
375.311 Legislative intent.
375.313 Commission powers and duties.
375.314 Damage to public lands.
375.011 Short title.—This act may be known and cited as the “Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Act of 1963.”
History.—s. 1, ch. 63-36.
375.021 Comprehensive multipurpose outdoor recreation plan.—
(1) The department is given the responsibility, authority, and power to develop and execute a comprehensive multipurpose outdoor recreation plan for this state with the cooperation of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Transportation, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Economic Opportunity, and the water management districts.
(2) The purpose of the plan is to document recreational supply and demand, describe current recreational opportunities, estimate the need for additional recreational opportunities, and propose means for meeting identified needs. The plan shall describe statewide recreational needs, opportunities, and potential opportunities.
(3) The outdoor recreation plan shall be kept current through continual reevaluation and revision. Each agency named in subsection (1) must submit data to the Department of Environmental Protection periodically, upon request, relative to recreational opportunities supplied by that agency, potential recreational opportunities which could be provided by the agency, and any other relevant recreational statistics that the agency may possess. The agencies shall meet periodically at the request of the Department of Environmental Protection to discuss recreational issues.
(4) The Department of Environmental Protection may contract with the Government of the United States, or any agency or instrumentality thereof; or with the state or any county, municipality, district authority, or political subdivision; or with any private corporation, partnership, association, or person providing for or relating to the development of outdoor recreation or conservation in accomplishing the purposes of this act. The department may receive and accept from any federal agency, state agency, or other public body grants or loans for or in aid of the purposes of this act; and the department may receive and accept aid, contributions, or loans from any other source of money, property, labor, or other things of value to be held, used, and applied only for the purpose for which such aid, grants, or loans were made. Without limiting or modifying any of the powers and authority of the department, but specifically as an addition thereto, the department is expressly authorized to participate in the land and water conservation fund program, established by and pursuant to Pub. L. No. 88-578, as it may be amended from time to time.
History.—s. 2, ch. 63-36; ss. 1, 2, ch. 67-351; s. 5, ch. 67-461; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 136, ch. 71-377; s. 107, ch. 73-333; s. 2, ch. 80-356; s. 32, ch. 81-167; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 5, ch. 82-152; s. 32, ch. 83-55; s. 5, ch. 83-114; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 64, ch. 86-163; ss. 9, 16, ch. 89-116; s. 282, ch. 94-356; s. 193, ch. 99-245; s. 10, ch. 2001-62; s. 251, ch. 2011-142.
375.031 Acquisition of land; procedures.—
(1) The department is empowered and authorized to identify for acquisition lands, water areas, and related resources and to perform all other activities necessary or incident to improving, maintaining, selling, leasing, or disposing of land, water areas, and related resources, and improvements thereon. Prior to the acquisition of such land by the department, the seller of the land shall file a statement with the department disclosing, for at least the last 5 years prior to the conveyance of title to the state, all financial transactions concerning the land, and all parties having a financial interest in any transaction. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall hold title to lands so acquired, but the beneficial use, control, and management shall be with the department. All lands identified for acquisition under this chapter shall be acquired with funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
(2) The department may acquire, control, and oversee the development and use of all land, water areas, and related resources generally classified as outdoor areas and may construct, improve, enlarge, extend, and maintain capital improvements and facilities upon such outdoor areas as needed. In performing these functions, the department shall give full consideration to the recommendations of the committee and of other agencies using or desiring to use land or water areas provided by the department.
(3)(a) All land, water areas, and related resources hereafter needed by the state for outdoor recreation, wildlife management, forestry management, nature preservation, water conservation and control, and other similar or related purposes shall be acquired by the Division of State Lands of the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to the procedures set forth in chapter 253.
(b) On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and before the appraisal of a parcel approved for purchase pursuant to this chapter, the Secretary of Environmental Protection or the director of the Division of State Lands may enter into an option contract to buy such parcel. The option contract shall state that the final purchase price is subject to approval by the board and that this price may not exceed the maximum offer allowed by law. The consideration for such option may not exceed $1,000 or .01 percent of the estimate by the department of the value of the parcel, whichever is greater.
(4) The department may acquire by purchase, lease-purchase agreement, or otherwise, on such terms and conditions as it deems wise, any land, water areas, related resources, or other property which it deems is reasonably necessary for outdoor recreation or natural resources conservation under this act, and any and all rights, title, and interest in such land, water areas, related resources, and other property, including any public lands, parks, playgrounds, reservations, roads, or parkways, owned by or in which any county, political subdivision, city, town, village, public agency, or officer of the state has any right, title, or interest, or parts thereof or rights therein and any fee simple absolute or lesser interest in private property, and fee simple absolute in, easement upon, or the benefit of restrictions upon, abutting property to preserve and protect recreation and conservation areas and projects.
(5) Land, water areas, and related resources which may be identified through the procedures provided in this act include, but are not limited to, parks and recreation areas, wildlife preserves, forest areas, wetlands, floodways and water storage areas, beaches, water access sites, boating and navigational channels, submerged lands, historical and archaeological sites, and rights-of-way and sites for access roads which may be necessary for maximum development, use, and enjoyment of any outdoor recreation or conservation areas. The terms “land” and “lands” where used singly in this act shall be construed as inclusive of lands, water areas, and related resources.
(6) The department may acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, in accordance with the statutes of the state, any land or water areas, related resources, and property and any and all rights, title, and interest in such land or water areas, related resources, and other property which it determines reasonably necessary for the preservation of floodways and water storage areas, boating and navigational channels, rights-of-way for access roads which may be necessary for maximum development and use of any outdoor recreation and conservation areas, and rights-of-way for access which may be necessary for the use and enjoyment of public waterways.
(7) The department may contract for the management or lease of acquired land, water areas, and related resources, or improvements thereon, with any state agency for its authorized purposes. The department may, in its discretion, require such state agency to pay, as rentals on such land, water areas, related resources, or improvements, all or any part of the revenues derived from the land.
(8) The department may, if it deems it desirable and in the best interest of the program, request the board of trustees to sell or otherwise dispose of any lands or water storage areas acquired under this act. The board of trustees, when so requested, shall offer the lands or water storage areas, on such terms as the department may determine, first to other state agencies and then, if still available, to the county or municipality in which the lands or water storage areas lie. If not acquired by another state agency or local governmental body for beneficial public purposes, the lands or water storage areas shall then be offered by the board of trustees at public sale, after first giving notice of such sale by publication in a newspaper published in the county or counties in which such lands or water storage areas lie not less than once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. All proceeds from the sale or disposition of any lands or water storage areas pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the appropriate trust fund pursuant to s. 253.034(6)(k), (l), or (m).
(9) The department may sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of certain products and user rights in, under, or upon land, water areas, and related resources acquired under the provisions of this act, including, but not limited to, oil and minerals, timber and forest products, sand, gravel, earth, grazing rights, and farming rights on such terms and conditions as it determines, if the sale, lease, or other disposition is not inconsistent with or injurious to the outdoor recreation, conservation, and other purposes for which such lands and water areas were acquired.
(10) The department is empowered and authorized to provide matching funds to counties and municipalities of up to 50 percent of the cost of purchasing, exclusive of condemnation, rights-of-way for access roads or walkways to public beaches contiguous with the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.
History.—s. 3, ch. 63-36; s. 3, ch. 67-351; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 72-104; s. 1, ch. 75-81; s. 17, ch. 79-255; s. 3, ch. 80-356; s. 6, ch. 83-114; s. 15, ch. 84-330; s. 17, ch. 89-116; s. 8, ch. 89-174; s. 3, ch. 89-276; s. 15, ch. 90-217; ss. 9, 19, ch. 92-288; s. 283, ch. 94-356; s. 49, ch. 2015-229.
375.032 Recreation; required purpose for purchase.—No land shall be purchased under this act or any funds expended for any project unless a finding is made that recreation is the prime purpose of the purchase or of the project.
History.—s. 6, ch. 67-351.
375.041 Land Acquisition Trust Fund.—
(1) There is created a Land Acquisition Trust Fund within the Department of Environmental Protection. The Land Acquisition Trust Fund is designated by s. 28, Art. X of the State Constitution for receipt of certain documentary stamp tax revenue for the uses prescribed therein. The Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be held and administered by the department. The Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall continue for as long as bonds are outstanding pursuant to s. 215.618 or s. 215.619, or any bonds secured on a parity basis with such bonds, or until the requirement of s. 28, Art. X of the State Constitution expires, whichever is later. All moneys deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be trust funds for the uses and purposes herein set forth, within the meaning of s. 215.32(1)(b); and such moneys shall not become or be commingled with the General Revenue Fund of the state, as defined by s. 215.32(1)(a).
(2) All moneys and revenue from the sale or other disposition of land, water areas, or related resources acquired on or after July 1, 2015, for the purposes of s. 28, Art. X of the State Constitution shall be deposited into or credited to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, except as otherwise provided pursuant to s. 253.034(6)(l).
(3) Funds distributed into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund pursuant to s. 201.15 shall be applied:
(a) First, to pay debt service or to fund debt service reserve funds, rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to Florida Forever bonds issued under s. 215.618; and pay debt service, provide reserves, and pay rebate obligations and other amounts due with respect to Everglades restoration bonds issued under s. 215.619;
(b) Then, to pay the debt service on bonds issued before February 1, 2009, by the South Florida Water Management District and the St. Johns River Water Management District, which are secured by revenues provided pursuant to former s. 373.59, Florida Statutes 2014, or which are necessary to fund debt service reserve funds, rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to such bonds. This paragraph expires July 1, 2016; and
(c) Then, to distribute $32 million each fiscal year to the South Florida Water Management District for the Long-Term Plan as defined in s. 373.4592(2). This paragraph expires July 1, 2024.
(4) Any remaining moneys in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund which are not distributed as provided in subsection (3) may be appropriated from time to time for the purposes set forth in s. 28, Art. X of the State Constitution.
(5) Moneys accruing to other agencies for the purposes designated in subsection (1) shall be transferred pursuant to nonoperating budget authority under s. 216.181(12). Agencies shall maintain the integrity of such transferred moneys. Any transferred moneys available from reversions or reductions of budget authority in the other agencies shall be transferred back to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund in the Department of Environmental Protection within 15 days after such reversion or reduction and must be available for future appropriation pursuant to s. 28, Art. X of the State Constitution.
(6) When the Legislature has authorized the Department of Environmental Protection to condemn a specific parcel of land and such parcel already has been approved for acquisition through the fund, the land may be acquired in accordance with the provisions of chapter 73 or chapter 74, and the fund may be used to pay the condemnation award and all costs, including reasonable attorney fees, associated with condemnation.
History.—s. 4, ch. 63-36; s. 4, ch. 67-351; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 80-356; s. 3, ch. 83-80; s. 9, ch. 86-294; s. 2, ch. 87-96; s. 284, ch. 94-356; s. 18, ch. 96-420; s. 17, ch. 99-4; s. 176, ch. 99-13; ss. 27, 79, ch. 2002-402; s. 8, ch. 2004-6; s. 36, ch. 2004-269; s. 27, ch. 2005-71; s. 30, ch. 2006-26; s. 10, ch. 2007-6; s. 12, ch. 2008-5; s. 43, ch. 2008-153; s. 12, ch. 2010-4; s. 25, ch. 2010-153; s. 32, ch. 2011-47; s. 14, ch. 2012-88; s. 25, ch. 2012-119; s. 21, ch. 2013-41; s. 32, ch. 2014-53; s. 50, ch. 2015-229.
375.044 Land Acquisition Trust Fund budget request.—
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection shall submit to the Legislature a 10-year comprehensive budget request for the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
(2) The legislative budget request shall be submitted to the Executive Office of the Governor and the Legislature in conjunction with the provisions of ss. 216.023, 216.031, and 216.043. The 10-year request shall include, but need not be limited to:
(a) A 10-year annual cash-flow analysis of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
(b) Forecasts of anticipated revenues to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
(c) The estimate of the agency of Land Acquisition Trust Fund encumbrances and commitments for each year and the corresponding estimates of expenditures.
History.—s. 1, ch. 83-57; s. 4, ch. 95-150; s. 51, ch. 2015-229.
375.051 Issuance of revenue bonds subject to constitutional authorization.—The acquisition of lands, water areas, and related resources by the department under this act is a public purpose for which revenue bonds may be issued when and only when there has been granted in the State Constitution specific authorization for the department to issue revenue bonds to pay the cost of acquiring such lands, water areas, and related resources and to construct, improve, enlarge, and extend capital improvements and facilities thereon as determined by the department to be necessary for the purposes of this act. The department may utilize the services and facilities of the Department of Legal Affairs, the Board of Administration, or any other agency in this regard. No revenue bonds, revenue certificates, or other evidences of indebtedness shall be issued for the purposes of this act except as specifically authorized by the State Constitution. All revenue bonds, revenue certificates, or other evidences of indebtedness issued pursuant to this act shall be submitted to the State Board of Administration for approval or disapproval. No individual series of bonds may be issued pursuant to this section unless the debt service for the remainder of the fiscal year in which the bonds are issued is specifically appropriated in the General Appropriations Act.
History.—s. 5, ch. 63-36; s. 5, ch. 67-351; ss. 11, 25, 28, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 80-356; s. 2, ch. 83-57; s. 36, ch. 85-81; s. 19, ch. 2000-170.
375.061 Construction.—The provisions of this act shall be liberally construed in a manner to accomplish the purposes thereof.
History.—s. 6, ch. 63-36.
375.065 Public beaches; financial and other assistance by Department of Environmental Protection to local governments.—
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized, within the limits of appropriations available to the department for such purposes, to utilize any one or more of the following procedures in establishing and operating a program of financial assistance to local governments for the acquisition of public beach properties:
(a) The department may make grants for, and advance loans to, the governing body of any county or municipality in an amount not to exceed the fair market value, as determined by the department, of any waterfront property sought to be purchased by said governing body for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a public beach.
(b) The department may require the local governing body to give assurance that it has the financial ability to furnish or secure funds to complete the purchase of the property sought. Any revenue from concessions, tolls, or parking or otherwise produced by the development or operation of such public beach may be pledged to amortize any indebtedness incurred in such beach acquisitions.
(2) The Department of Environmental Protection may acquire waterfront property and may lease, sell, or grant acquired land, water areas, and related resources or improvements thereon to the governing body of any county or municipality upon such terms and conditions as the department may require in order to assure that such property will be reserved for public use and benefit in the future.
(3) The department is authorized to promulgate such rules and forms as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section and to ensure that all projects to which assistance is rendered hereunder are for the purpose of providing public beaches for recreation purposes.
(4) In addition to the authorized assistance procedures provided by this section, the Legislature urges the Department of Environmental Protection to give priority to applications relating to the acquisition of public beaches in urban areas, and to make full use of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, as amended, or other applicable federal programs. This section is supplemental to and shall not limit or repeal any provision of the Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Act of 1963.
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 72-86; s. 6, ch. 80-356; s. 286, ch. 94-356; s. 56, ch. 2007-5.
375.075 Outdoor recreation; financial assistance to local governments.—
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to establish the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program to provide grants, subject to legislative appropriation, to qualified local governmental entities to acquire or develop land for public outdoor recreation purposes. The department shall develop and plan a program that must be based upon the funding appropriated by the Legislature for such purpose.
(2)(a) The department shall adopt, by rule, procedures to govern the program, which shall include, but need not be limited to, a competitive project selection process designed to maximize the outdoor recreation benefit to the public.
(b) Selection criteria shall, at a minimum, rank:
1. The extent to which the project would implement the outdoor recreation goals, objectives, and priorities specified in the state comprehensive outdoor recreation plan; and
2. The extent to which the project would provide for priority resource or facility needs in the region as specified in the state comprehensive outdoor recreation plan.
(c) Funds may not be released under this program for these public recreation projects until the projects have been selected through the competitive selection process provided for in this section.
(3) A local government may submit up to two grant applications during each application period announced by the department. However, a local government may not have more than three active projects expending grant funds during any state fiscal year. The maximum project grant for each project application may not exceed $200,000 in state funds.
History.—s. 1, ch. 86-293; s. 16, ch. 90-217; s. 287, ch. 94-356; s. 39, ch. 99-247; s. 20, ch. 2000-170; s. 32, ch. 2000-197; s. 42, ch. 2006-1; s. 53, ch. 2015-229.
375.251 Limitation on liability of persons making available to public certain areas for recreational purposes without charge.—
(1) The purpose of this section is to encourage persons to make land, water areas, and park areas available to the public for outdoor recreational purposes by limiting their liability to persons using these areas and to third persons who may be damaged by the acts or omissions of persons using these areas.
(2)(a) An owner or lessee who provides the public with an area for outdoor recreational purposes owes no duty of care to keep that area safe for entry or use by others, or to give warning to persons entering or going on that area of any hazardous conditions, structures, or activities on the area. An owner or lessee who provides the public with an area for outdoor recreational purposes:
1. Is not presumed to extend any assurance that the area is safe for any purpose;
2. Does not incur any duty of care toward a person who goes on the area; or
3. Is not liable or responsible for any injury to persons or property caused by the act or omission of a person who goes on the area.
(b) Notwithstanding the inclusion of the term “public” in this subsection and subsection (1), an owner or lessee who makes available to any person an area primarily for the purposes of hunting, fishing, or wildlife viewing is entitled to the limitation on liability provided herein so long as the owner or lessee provides written notice of this provision to the person before or at the time of entry upon the area or posts notice of this provision conspicuously upon the area.
(c) The Legislature recognizes that an area offered for outdoor recreational purposes may be subject to multiple uses. The limitation of liability extended to an owner or lessee under this subsection applies only if no charge is made for entry to or use of the area for outdoor recreational purposes and no other revenue is derived from patronage of the area for outdoor recreational purposes.
(3)(a) An owner of an area who enters into a written agreement concerning the area with the state for outdoor recreational purposes, where such agreement recognizes that the state is responsible for personal injury, loss, or damage resulting in whole or in part from the state’s use of the area under the terms of the agreement subject to the limitations and conditions specified in s. 768.28, owes no duty of care to keep the area safe for entry or use by others, or to give warning to persons entering or going on the area of any hazardous conditions, structures, or activities thereon. An owner who enters into a written agreement concerning the area with the state for outdoor recreational purposes:
1. Is not presumed to extend any assurance that the area is safe for any purpose;
2. Does not incur any duty of care toward a person who goes on the area that is subject to the agreement; or
3. Is not liable or responsible for any injury to persons or property caused by the act or omission of a person who goes on the area that is subject to the agreement.
(b) This subsection applies to all persons going on the area that is subject to the agreement, including invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
(c) It is the intent of this subsection that an agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection should not result in compensation to the owner of the area above reimbursement of reasonable costs or expenses associated with the agreement. An agreement that provides for such does not subject the owner or the state to liability even if the compensation exceeds those costs or expenses. This paragraph applies only to agreements executed after July 1, 2012.
(4) This section does not relieve any person of liability that would otherwise exist for deliberate, willful, or malicious injury to persons or property. This section does not create or increase the liability of any person.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Area” includes land, water, and park areas.
(b) “Outdoor recreational purposes” includes, but is not limited to, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, swimming, boating, camping, picnicking, hiking, pleasure driving, nature study, water skiing, motorcycling, and visiting historical, archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites.
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 63-313; s. 1, ch. 75-17; s. 7, ch. 87-328; s. 1, ch. 2012-203.
375.311 Legislative intent.—To protect and manage Florida’s wildlife environment on lands conveyed for recreational purposes by private owners and public custodians, the Legislature hereby intends that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall regulate motor vehicle access and traffic control on Florida’s public lands.
History.—s. 1, ch. 78-238; s. 1, ch. 78-355; s. 194, ch. 99-245.
375.312 Definitions.—As used in this act, unless the context requires otherwise:
(1) “Motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle, including every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn, except devices moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
(2) “Public lands” means any lands in the state which are owned by, leased by, or otherwise assigned to the state or any of its agencies and which are used by the general public for recreational purposes.
(3) “Commission” means the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(4) “Off-road vehicle” means any motor vehicle under this act which is not licensed or registered under chapter 320, except those vehicles when used in timber harvest, reforestation, or other industry as may be directed by the landowner or mineral owner.
History.—s. 1, ch. 78-238; s. 1, ch. 78-355; s. 195, ch. 99-245.
375.313 Commission powers and duties.—The commission shall:
(1) Regulate or prohibit, when necessary, the use of motor vehicles on the public lands of the state in order to prevent damage or destruction to said lands.
(2) Adopt and promulgate such reasonable rules as deemed necessary to administer the provisions of ss. 375.311-375.314, except that, before any such rules are adopted, the commission shall obtain the consent and agreement, in writing, of the owner, in the case of privately owned lands, or the owner or primary custodian, in the case of publicly owned lands.
History.—s. 1, ch. 78-238; s. 1, ch. 78-355; s. 68, ch. 2002-295; s. 78, ch. 2014-17.
375.314 Damage to public lands.—
(1) Whoever damages public lands by the use of a motor vehicle is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 or by restitution.
(2) For the purpose of this section, damage shall include, but is not limited to, injury to or destruction of trees, flora, sand dunes or other environmentally sensitive land, roads, trails, drainage systems or natural water courses or sources, wildlife resources, fences or gates, or crops or cultivated land.
(3) Any person who operates a motor vehicle on lands owned by the state or its agency shall be civilly liable for the actual damage to the lands by reason of his or her wrongful act, which damages may be recovered by suit and, when collected, shall go to the state or its agency to be used to restore or replace the damaged property.
History.—s. 1, ch. 78-238; s. 1, ch. 78-355; s. 86, ch. 79-164; s. 58, ch. 91-224; s. 17, ch. 97-96.