Florida Senate - 2012 SB 1554 By Senator Altman 24-00312B-12 20121554__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to state lands; amending s. 253.42, 3 F.S.; providing for certain individuals and 4 corporations to submit requests to the Board of 5 Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to 6 exchange state-owned land for conservation easements 7 over privately held land; providing criteria for 8 consideration of such requests; encouraging certain 9 operations on such lands; providing an effective date. 10 11 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that significant economic 12 forces compel the state to be innovative in seeking new ways to 13 expand the protection and conservation of undeveloped lands 14 while reducing the overall fiscal impact to the state, and 15 WHEREAS, many of these undeveloped lands are held in 16 private ownership by individuals or by private or public 17 corporations and are contiguous to existing state-owned land, 18 and 19 WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes that these entities may 20 have additional management resources that would assist in the 21 conservation and protection of natural resources on such lands 22 and allow the state to increase the amount of land under 23 protective covenants, and 24 WHEREAS, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage 25 the use of conservation easements over privately held land 26 through the exchange of state-owned land, to secure the future 27 of natural resource-based recreation areas, and to ensure the 28 survival of plant and animal species and the conservation of 29 finite and renewable natural resources, NOW, THEREFORE, 30 31 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 32 33 Section 1. Subsection (4) is added to section 253.42, 34 Florida Statutes, to read: 35 253.42 Board of trustees may exchange lands.—The provisions 36 of this section apply to all lands owned by, vested in, or 37 titled in the name of the board whether the lands were acquired 38 by the state as a purchase, or through gift, donation, or any 39 other conveyance for which no consideration was paid. 40 (4)(a) An individual or any private or public corporation 41 that owns privately held land contiguous to state-owned land may 42 submit a request directly to the board to exchange state-owned 43 land for conservation easements placed over the privately held 44 land. 45 (b) If the privately held land is surrounded by state-owned 46 land on at least 30 percent of its perimeter and the exchange 47 does not create an inholding, the board shall consider such 48 request within 60 days after receipt of the request. 49 (c) Special consideration shall be given to a request 50 submitted pursuant to this subsection which allows the state to 51 retain a conservation easement in perpetuity. Low-impact 52 operations, such as grazing, forest management, prescribed 53 burning, and wildlife management practices, are strongly 54 encouraged on such lands. 55 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.