Florida Senate - 2017 CS for SB 1304 By the Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation; and Senators Stewart and Torres 592-04103A-17 20171304c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to Florida black bears; creating s. 3 379.3018, F.S.; providing a short title; defining 4 terms; prohibiting the issuance of a permit 5 authorizing the recreational hunting of Florida black 6 bears mothering cubs under 100 pounds; specifying a 7 penalty for the unlawful harvesting of saw palmetto 8 berries on state lands; authorizing the Fish and 9 Wildlife Conservation Commission to designate and 10 update certain habitats; amending s. 590.125, F.S.; 11 prohibiting prescribed burns in certain designated 12 habitats during specified times; providing an 13 effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Section 379.3018, Florida Statutes, is created 18 to read: 19 379.3018 Florida black bear habitat restoration.— 20 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Florida 21 Black Bear Protection Act.” 22 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 23 (a) “Florida black bear” means the subspecies Ursus 24 americanus floridanus. 25 (b) “State lands” means all lands under public ownership or 26 control, including state forests, state parks, and conservation 27 easements authorized by the state. 28 (3) HUNTING PROHIBITION.—The commission may not allow any 29 person issued a recreational hunting permit authorizing the 30 hunting of Florida black bears to kill a Florida black bear 31 mothering cubs under 100 pounds pursuant to such permit. 32 (4) SAW PALMETTO BERRY HARVESTING.—Regardless of the value 33 of berries stolen, a person unlawfully harvesting saw palmetto 34 berries on state lands commits petit theft of the second degree, 35 punishable as provided in s. 812.014. 36 (5) DESIGNATION OF HABITATS.—The commission may, on state 37 lands, designate and update as necessary using a science-based 38 approach: 39 (a) Florida black bear habitats in which female bears are 40 likely to be denning during the month of February; and 41 (b) Sensitive habitats containing critical food sources for 42 Florida black bears. 43 Section 2. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section 44 590.125, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 45 590.125 Open burning authorized by the Florida Forest 46 Service.— 47 (3) CERTIFIED PRESCRIBED BURNING; LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND 48 PURPOSE.— 49 (b) Certified prescribed burning pertains only to broadcast 50 burning for purposes of silviculture, wildland fire hazard 51 reduction, wildlife management, ecological maintenance and 52 restoration, and agriculture. It must be conducted in accordance 53 with this subsection and: 54 1. May be accomplished only when a certified prescribed 55 burn manager is present on site with a copy of the prescription 56 and directly supervises the certified prescribed burn until the 57 burn is completed, after which the certified prescribed burn 58 manager is not required to be present. 59 2. Requires that a written prescription be prepared before 60 receiving authorization to burn from the Florida Forest Service. 61 a. A new prescription or authorization is not required for 62 smoldering that occurs within the authorized burn area unless 63 new ignitions are conducted by the certified prescribed burn 64 manager. 65 b. Monitoring the smoldering activity of a certified 66 prescribed burn does not require a prescription or an additional 67 authorization even if flames begin to spread within the 68 authorized burn area due to ongoing smoldering. 69 3. Requires that the specific consent of the landowner or 70 his or her designee be obtained before requesting an 71 authorization. 72 4. Requires that an authorization to burn be obtained from 73 the Florida Forest Service before igniting the burn. 74 5. Requires that there be adequate firebreaks at the burn 75 site and sufficient personnel and firefighting equipment to 76 contain the fire within the authorized burn area. 77 a. Fire spreading outside the authorized burn area on the 78 day of the certified prescribed burn ignition does not 79 constitute conclusive proof of inadequate firebreaks, 80 insufficient personnel, or a lack of firefighting equipment. 81 b. If the certified prescribed burn is contained within the 82 authorized burn area during the authorized period, a strong 83 rebuttable presumption shall exist that adequate firebreaks, 84 sufficient personnel, and sufficient firefighting equipment were 85 present. 86 c. Continued smoldering of a certified prescribed burn 87 resulting in a subsequent wildfire does not by itself constitute 88 evidence of gross negligence under this section. 89 6. Is considered to be in the public interest and does not 90 constitute a public or private nuisance when conducted under 91 applicable state air pollution statutes and rules. 92 7. Is considered to be a property right of the property 93 owner if vegetative fuels are burned as required in this 94 subsection. 95 8. May not be conducted during the month of February in a 96 habitat designated by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation 97 Commission under s. 379.3018(5)(a). 98 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.