(1) DEFINITIONS.–For the purpose of this section, the “citizen support organization” means an organization that is:
(a) A Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State;
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 259.10521
- Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
- Department: means the Department of Environmental Protection. See Florida Statutes 259.03
- Donor: The person who makes a gift.
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
- writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 1.01
(b) Organized and operated to conduct programs and activities in the best interest of the state; raise funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer, in its own name, securities, funds, objects of value, or other property, real or personal; and make expenditures to or for the direct or indirect benefit of the Babcock Ranch Preserve;
(c) Determined by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to be consistent with the goals of the state in acquiring the ranch and in the best interests of the state; and
(d) Approved in writing by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service to operate for the direct or indirect benefit of the ranch and in the best interest of the state. Such approval shall be given in a letter of agreement from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service. Only one citizen support organization may be created to operate for the direct or indirect benefit of the Babcock Ranch Preserve.
(2) USE OF PROPERTY.–
(a) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service may permit, without charge, appropriate use of fixed property and facilities of the Babcock Ranch Preserve by a citizen support organization, subject to the provisions of this section. Such use must be directly in keeping with the approved purposes of the citizen support organization and may not be made at times or places that would unreasonably interfere with recreational opportunities for the general public.
(b) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service may prescribe by rule any condition with which the citizen support organization shall comply in order to use fixed property or facilities of the ranch.
(c) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service shall not permit the use of any fixed property or facilities of the ranch by a citizen support organization that does not provide equal membership and employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.
(a) The Legislature recognizes that the Babcock Ranch Preserve will need a variety of facilities to enhance its public use and potential. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, improved access, camping areas, picnic shelters, management facilities, and environmental education facilities. The need for such facilities may exceed the ability of the state to provide such facilities in a timely manner with moneys available. The Legislature finds it to be in the public interest to provide incentives for partnerships with private organizations with the intent of producing additional revenue to help enhance the use and potential of the ranch.
(b) The Legislature may annually appropriate funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for use only as state matching funds, in conjunction with private donations in aggregates of at least $60,000, matched by $40,000 of state funds, for a total minimum project amount of $100,000 for capital improvement facility development at the ranch at either individually designated locations or for priority projects within the overall ranch system. The citizen support organization may acquire private donations pursuant to this section, and matching state funds for approved projects may be provided in accordance with this subsection. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service are authorized to properly recognize and honor a private donor by placing a plaque or other appropriate designation noting the contribution on project facilities or by naming project facilities after the person or organization that provided matching funds. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service are authorized to adopt necessary administrative rules to carry out the purposes of this subsection.
(4) REPEAL.–This section is repealed October 1, 2024, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.