(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Commission” means the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 379.3001
- Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
(b) “Commission-managed lands” means those lands owned by the commission, those lands owned by the state over which the commission holds management authority, or those privately owned lands that are leased or managed by the commission.
(c) “Hunting” means the lawful pursuit, trapping, shooting, capture, collection, or killing of wildlife or the lawful attempt to pursue, trap, shoot, capture, collect, or kill wildlife.
(2) Commission-managed lands shall be open to access and use for hunting except as limited by the commission for reasons of public safety, fish or wildlife management, or homeland security or as otherwise limited by law.
(3) The commission, in exercising its authority under the State Constitution and statutes, shall exercise its authority, consistent with subsection (2), in a manner that supports, promotes, and enhances hunting opportunities to the extent authorized by state law.
(4) Commission land management decisions and actions, including decisions made by private owners to close hunting land managed by the commission, shall not result in any net loss of habitat land acreage available for hunting opportunities on commission-managed lands that exists on the effective date of this act. The commission shall expeditiously find replacement acreage for hunting to compensate for closures of any existing hunting land. Replacement lands shall, to the greatest extent possible, be located within the same administrative region of the commission and shall be consistent with the hunting discipline that the commission allowed on the closed land.
(5) Any state agency or water management district that owns or manages lands shall assist and coordinate and cooperate with the commission to allow hunting on such lands if such lands are determined by the commission to be suitable for hunting. To ensure no net loss of land acreage available for hunting, state agencies and water management districts shall cooperate with the commission to open new, additional hunting lands to replace lost hunting acreage. However, lands officially designated as units within the state park system may not be considered for replacement hunting lands and may only be opened for hunting when necessary as a wildlife control or management tool as determined by the Division of Recreation and Parks in the Department of Environmental Protection.
(6) By October 1 of each year, the executive director of the commission shall submit to the Legislature a written report describing:
(a) The acreage managed by the commission that was closed to hunting during the previous fiscal year and the reasons for the closures.
(b) The acreage managed by the commission that was opened to hunting to compensate for closures of existing land pursuant to subsection (4).
(7) By October 1 of each year, any state agency or water management district that owns or manages lands shall submit a written report to the commission and the Legislature that includes:
(a) A list of properties that were open for hunting during the previous fiscal year.
(b) A list of properties that were not open for hunting during the previous fiscal year.
(c) The acreage for each property and the county where each property is located, except for right-of-way lands and parcels under 50 acres.