Skip to Navigation | Skip to Main Content | Skip to Site Map | Mobile Site

Senate Tracker: Sign Up | Login

The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Declaration of policy and legislative intent.
Section 260.012, Florida Statutes 2004

260.012  Declaration of policy and legislative intent.--

(1)  In order to recognize the benefits of the outdoor areas of Florida, and in order to conserve, develop, and use the natural resources of this state for healthful and recreational purposes, it is declared to be the public policy of this state and the purpose of ss. 260.011-260.018 to provide the means and procedures for establishing and expanding a statewide system of greenways and trails for recreational and conservation purposes which shall be designated as the "Florida Greenways and Trails System." The standards by which the greenways and trails system shall be acquired, designated, administered, maintained, used, and expanded shall be consistent with the provisions of ss. 260.011-260.018. It is the intent of the Legislature that these greenways and trails will serve to implement the concepts of ecosystems management while providing, where appropriate, recreational opportunities, including, but not limited to, horseback riding, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, jogging, and historical and archaeological interpretation, thereby improving the health and welfare of the people.

(2)  It is the intent of the Legislature that a statewide system of greenways and trails be established to provide open space benefiting environmentally sensitive lands and wildlife and providing people with access to healthful outdoor activities. It is also the intent of the Legislature to acquire or designate lands and waterways to facilitate the establishment of a statewide system of greenways and trails; to encourage the multiple use of public rights-of-way and use to the fullest extent existing and future scenic roads, highways, park roads, parkways, greenways, trails, and national recreational trails; to encourage the development of greenways and trails by counties, cities, and special districts and to assist in such development by any means available; to coordinate greenway and trail plans and development by local governments with one another and with the state government and Federal Government; to encourage, whenever possible, the development of greenways and trails on federal lands by the Federal Government; and to encourage the owners of private lands to protect the existing ecological, historical, and cultural values of their lands, including those values derived from working landscapes.

(3)  It is the intent of the Legislature that designated greenways and trails be located on public lands and waterways and, subject to the written agreement of the private landowner, on private lands. Designated greenways and trails located on public lands or waterways or on private lands may or may not provide public access, as agreed by the department or the landowner, respectively.

(4)  It is the intent of the Legislature that information produced for the purpose of the identification of lands and waterways, both public and private, that are suitable for greenways and trails be used only for the purposes of:

(a)  Setting priorities for acquisition, planning, and management of public lands and waterways for use as greenways and trails; and

(b)  Identification of private lands which are eligible for designation as part of the greenways and trails system and are thereby eligible for incentives.

(5)  The planning, development, operation, and maintenance of the Florida Greenways and Trails System authorized by ss. 260.011-260.018 is declared to be a public purpose, and the Department of Environmental Protection, together with other agencies of this state and all counties, municipalities, and special districts of this state, is authorized to spend public funds for such purposes and to accept gifts and grants of funds, property, or property rights from public or private sources to be used for such purposes.

(6)  It is the intent of the Legislature to officially recognize the Florida National Scenic Trail as Florida's official statewide trail from the Florida Panhandle to the Everglades. It is also the intent of the Legislature to encourage all state, regional, and local agencies who acquire lands to include in their land-buying efforts the acquisition of sufficient legal interest in the lands over which the trail passes to ensure its continued existence in a permanent location.

History.--s. 2, ch. 79-110; s. 1, ch. 87-328; s. 3, ch. 91-62; s. 105, ch. 94-356; s. 8, ch. 96-389; s. 3, ch. 98-336; s. 22, ch. 99-247.