(1) For the purpose of assuring the proper application of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the purposes of this chapter, the land provided for in ss. 253.01 and 253.03, and all the funds arising from the sale thereof, after paying the necessary expense of selection, management, and sale, are irrevocably vested in a board of four trustees, to wit: The Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Commissioner of Agriculture and their successors in office, to hold the same in trust for the uses and purposes provided in this chapter, with the power to sell and transfer said lands to the purchasers and receive the power to sell and transfer said lands to the purchasers and receive payment for the same, and invest the surplus moneys arising therefrom, from time to time, in stocks of the United States, stocks of the several states, or the internal improvement bonds issued under the provisions of law; also, the surplus interest accruing from such investments. Said board of trustees has all the rights, powers, property, claims, remedies, actions, suits, and things whatsoever belonging to them, or appertaining before and at the time of the enactment hereof, and they shall remain subject to and pay, fulfill, perform, and discharge all debts, duties, and obligations of their trust, existing at the time of the enactment hereof or provided in this chapter.
(2)(a) The board of trustees shall not sell, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any lands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees except by vote of at least three of the four trustees.
(b) The authority of the board of trustees to grant easements for rights-of-way over, across, and upon uplands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees for the construction and operation of electric transmission and distribution facilities and related appurtenances is hereby confirmed. The board of trustees may delegate to the Secretary of Environmental Protection the authority to grant such easements on its behalf. All easements for rights-of-way over, across, and upon uplands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees for the construction and operation of electric transmission and distribution facilities and related appurtenances which are approved by the Secretary of Environmental Protection pursuant to the authority delegated by the board of trustees shall meet the following criteria:
1. Such easements shall not prevent the use of the state-owned uplands adjacent to the easement area for the purposes for which such lands were acquired and shall not unreasonably diminish the ecological, conservation, or recreational values of the state-owned uplands adjacent to the easement area.
2. There is no practical and prudent alternative to locating the linear facility and related appurtenances on state-owned upland. For purposes of this subparagraph, the test of practicality and prudence shall compare the social, economic, and environmental effects of the alternatives.
3. Appropriate steps are taken to minimize the impacts to state-owned uplands. Such steps may include:
a. Siting of facilities so as to reduce impacts and minimize fragmentation of the overall state-owned parcel;
b. Avoiding significant wildlife habitat, wetlands, or other valuable natural resources to the maximum extent practicable; or
c. Avoiding interference with active land management practices, such as prescribed burning.
4. Except for easements granted as a part of a land exchange to accomplish a recreational or conservation benefit or other public purpose, in exchange for such easements, the grantee pays an amount equal to the market value of the interest acquired. In addition, for the initial grant of such easements only, the grantee shall provide additional compensation by vesting in the board of trustees fee simple title to other available uplands that are 1.5 times the size of the easement acquired by the grantee. The Secretary of Environmental Protection shall approve the property to be acquired on behalf of the board of trustees based on the geographic location in relation to the land proposed to be under easement and a determination that economic, ecological, and recreational value is at least equivalent to the value of the lands under proposed easement. Priority for replacement uplands shall be given to parcels identified as inholdings and additions to public lands and lands on a Florida Forever land acquisition list. However, if suitable replacement uplands cannot be identified, the grantee shall provide additional compensation for the initial grant of such easements only by paying to the department an amount equal to two times the current market value of the state-owned land or the highest and best use value at the time of purchase, whichever is greater. When determining such use of funds, priority shall be given to parcels identified as inholdings and additions to public lands and lands on a Florida Forever land acquisition list.
(c) Where authority to approve easements for rights-of-way over, across, and upon uplands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees for the construction and operation of electric transmission and distribution facilities and related appurtenances has not been delegated to the Secretary of Environmental Protection, the board of trustees shall apply the same criteria and require the same compensation as provided above, provided, however, the board of trustees shall have the discretion to determine the amount of replacement lands required within a range of from one to two times the size of the easement acquired by the grantee, depending upon the degree to which the proposed use of the easement will interfere with the manner in which the lands within the proposed easement area have historically been managed.
(3) In the event submerged tidal land is to be sold and transferred by said board of trustees, the board of trustees shall first require the Department of Environmental Protection to inspect said lands and to file a written report with the board of trustees which report shall state whether or not the development of said lands would be detrimental to established conservation practices.
(4) The board of trustees is authorized to acquire by condemnation such submerged lands, except Murphy Act Lands and Holland Act Lands, as shall be in the public interest and for a public purpose.
(5) The board of trustees shall be a necessary party to any action or petition which seeks to acquire submerged lands or lands lying beneath any navigable waters in the state through eminent domain proceedings.
History.—s. 2, ch. 610, 1854; RS 429; GS 617; RGS 1055; CGL 1385; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 67-5; s. 1, ch. 67-269; s. 1, ch. 67-2236; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 1, ch. 70-358; s. 8, ch. 79-65; s. 2, ch. 82-185; s. 64, ch. 94-356; s. 13, ch. 2003-6; s. 14, ch. 2008-227.