Q. What is the Florida Forever program?
The Florida Forever program is the state’s blueprint for
conservation of Florida’s natural resources. It replaces the
Preservation 2000 program (P2000), the largest program
of its kind in the United States.
P2000 was responsible for the public acquisition and
protection of more than 1.7 million acres of land. Florida
Forever encompasses a wider range of goals, including water
resource development and supply, increased public access, public
lands management and maintenance and increased protection of land by
acquisition of conservation easements.
Q. How much land has been acquired under the Florida
A. The State of Florida has acquired more than 683,000 acres
under the Florida Forever program. Combined with the
purchases of the
Preservation 2000 program, Florida Forever’s
forerunner, the state has acquired more than 2.5 million acres since
1990. A complete statistical abstract for conservation land
acquisitions may be found at
Q. Who may propose property for purchase by the Division’s
Florida Forever program?
A. Anyone may nominate a project. Federal, state and local
government agencies, conservation organizations or private citizens
are project sponsors. The sponsor is required to contact owners to
let them know that their property is being proposed for state
acquisition. Complete a
Florida Forever application (see Links &
Resources page) or write to the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP), Division of State Lands, Office of
Environmental Services, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Mail Station #140,
Tallahassee, FL 32399, or by telephone at (850) 245-2555.
Q. What’s the process for amending a project boundary?
A. If the land to be added to a project boundary is less than $2
million in tax assessed value, less than 10 percent of the size of
the existing project boundary and less than 1,000 acres in size, a
boundary modification form must be completed. If it does not meet
all three of these criteria, a Florida Forever project application
must be completed instead of the boundary modification form. For
boundary amendments that propose to add property to an existing
project, a land managing entity must also be contacted to ensure
that they are willing to manage the proposed addition. If the land
is proposed for acquisition through a conservation easement, the
Division of State Lands would be the manager. For fee-simple
acquisition, the proposed project manager should provide a letter
that addresses the questions in the boundary modification form. If
the property is within a project boundary and you would like to have
it removed, please send a certified letter identifying the property
with a copy of documentation validating your interest in the
property (for example, tax statement or land title document) to the
following address: Florida Department of Environmental Protection,
Division of State Lands, Office of Environmental Services, 3900
Commonwealth Boulevard, MS 140, Tallahassee, FL 32399.
Q. Who decides which lands to buy?
A. The Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC)
consists of 10 members. Four members represent state agencies: Florida Department of
Environmental Protection, Florida Forest Service of the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Division of Historical
Resources of the Florida Department of State. Four are citizen
appointees of the Governor with backgrounds from scientific
disciplines of land, water or environmental science. In
2008, two additional citizen members were added. One was appointed
by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and one by
the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Council
evaluates and selects projects twice per year in June and December
and ranks Florida Forever acquisition projects annually in
December. After projects are approved and ranked, the
overall Florida Forever list is submitted to the Governor and
Cabinet, serving as the Board of Trustees, for approval. The
Governor and Cabinet may remove projects from the list but cannot
otherwise change the list.
Q. Who actually buys the land?
A. DEP's Division of
State Lands and its acquisition partners negotiate with owners to
buy land on behalf of the people of Florida. The Division cannot act
without the consent of the Governor and Cabinet, serving as the
Board of Trustees, who oversee the program by approving the list of
projects recommended each year by the Acquisition and Restoration
Council (ARC) and approving specific purchases.
Q. Which agencies receive Florida Forever funds when
the legislature appropriates funding?
A. The money appropriated by the Legislature is distributed by DEP
to the following agencies/programs:
Q. Who owns the lands purchased by these programs?
Lands purchased by the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection’s Division of State Lands, DEP’s Division of Recreation
and Parks (DRP), Florida Forest Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission and under the Rural and Family Lands Protection Act are
owned by the Board of Trustees (Governor and Cabinet). Lands
purchased under the Florida Communities Trust and Stan Mayfield
Working Waterfronts programs are usually owned by the local
governments that applied for the grants. Lands purchased by the
different water management districts are owned by those districts.
These lands are held in trust for the citizens of Florida.
Q. How long would it take for the state to buy a piece of
property, assuming it gets added to the acquisition list?
A. If funds are available, the process could take up to six months
or a year, depending on the complexity of the project. After a
project is added to the Florida Forever list and a decision
is made that it’s a high priority, then additional steps include a
preliminary survey, appraisals, negotiations and final closing
Q. When can an owner of property on the Florida Forever
list expect to be notified by DEP's Division of State Lands?
A. Sponsors of proposed projects are required to provide proof that
they notified owners before submitting an application. The Division
also tries to notify owners of large tracts within new projects
before the Acquistion and Restoration Council (ARC) ranks the list.
A letter is sent that asks about an owner’s willingness to consider
selling his or her property. Owners of new projects are also
notified before surveying and appraising work begins. A land
acquisition agent then contacts owners to begin negotiations.
Q. How does the state determine the price it will offer a land
A. DEP's Division of State Lands uses appraisals as a basis for
negotiations. Each property receives at least one appraisal from an
independent private sector appraiser to estimate market value.
Q. When are appraisals obtained?
A. DEP's Division
of State Lands will request permission from the owner to appraise
the property. The exact timing of this request will depend on the
location and resource value of the property and the availability of
Florida Forever funds. The length of time of the appraisal
process varies, depending on the size and the complexity of the
Q. What factors do the appraisers consider when estimating
A. Appraisers consider many factors including
location, size, zoning, highest and best use and economic conditions
when reaching their value opinions. These value opinions are based
upon and supported by comparable sales information.
Q. May a property owner accompany appraisers on a site visit?
A. Yes. Owners are invited to accompany appraisers and discuss the
property with them. Owners are encouraged to provide as much
information as possible to appraisers during site visits.
Q. What role can a non-profit organization play?
Non-profit organizations may sometimes play a role in helping the
Division acquire preservation land. They may act as intermediaries
with owners and may assist them with tax and estate planning issues.
For information about non-profits, contact The Nature Conservancy,
the Trust for Public Land, The Conservation Fund or the Land Trust
Q. Does being on the Florida Forever list affect
A. No. Changes in property value through
government action normally occur as a result of local government
decisions involving zoning, development permits or changes in local
land use plans. Being on the Florida Forever list should not
trigger any such action. If lands contain significant natural or
cultural resources, however, various laws, rules, and ordinances may
affect the use of the property. These same resource values would
also attract the state’s interest in acquiring land.
Q. Does a property owner have to sell to the state?
A. No, not under most circumstances. Land acquisition by the
Florida Forever program is almost exclusively voluntary.
Q. How can an owner keep his property off the Florida
Forever list or get it removed if it is already on the list?
A. Any property owner can ask the state to remove his property from
the Florida Forever list. The property owner would need to send a
certified letter to the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC), DEP
Office of Environmental Services, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 100,
Tallahassee, FL 32399. ARC will drop that piece of property from the
acquisition list, but the Governor and Cabinet have an option, when
they approve the acquisition list, of putting that property back on
the list. That takes a supermajority vote of the Governor and
Cabinet, and happens only if the property is judged to be of
Q. What are the advantages of selling property to the state?
A. When selling property to the state, it is a cash
sale. It may provide certain tax benefits as well. An owner’s
decision to sell property to the state has other, less tangible
benefits. It can dramatically affect Floridians, visitors to Florida,
Florida waters, recreation
and future generations who want to learn and experience Florida’s
environmental landscape. An owner will have the satisfaction of
knowing he or she has helped protect important ecological resources
for generations to come.
Q. Are there other ways to protect land without an owner
selling all of his or her property rights to the state or another
A. Yes. Alternate methods are available in some cases,
if they are in the best interests of the property owner and the
State. An owner might consider a life estate, which enables the
owner to continue to live on the property but assures state
ownership and management after his or her lifetime. By granting or
selling a conservation easement, an owner may protect important
resources while also receiving certain tax advantages. A
conservation easement allows the owner to retain title to the
property along with certain negotiated rights, but protects the
natural resource values of the property. If an owner does not wish
to sell the property at the present time, he or she could offer the
state a first-right-of-refusal. That gives the state the chance to
try to buy the land in the future, if circumstances change and an
owner decides to put the property on the market. These and other
methods of resource protection planning can often solve the needs of
the owner and also save part of Florida’s natural or cultural
heritage for the future.
Q. How can I get a copy of the latest Florida Forever
A. The Florida Forever Five-Year Plan can be downloaded.
See the Florida Forever
Sell Land to the State
Q. Would the state be interested in buying my property?
A. It depends on the property. You may follow the steps on the
Sell Land to the State page or call (850) 245-2555.
Q. What is needed to close on a property?
A. Three due diligence products are generally needed for a
closing with the State: title commitment, survey and environmental
site assessment. Once received, the products must be reviewed and
approved by staff members, such as closing staff, attorneys and
Q. What is an environmental site assessment?
A. An environmental site assessment is a physical
inspection of a site (land and improvements) to determine if
environmental problems or concerns exist, such as a leaking above
ground storage tank or abandoned vehicles.
Q. Why does DEP's Division of State Lands' Bureau of Appraisal
maintain a list of appraisers when the Department of Business and
Professional Regulation provides a list of all state licensed and
A. All appraisals and appraisal reviews conducted for
acquisition or disposition of state lands must be conducted by
appraisers on the Division of State Lands
Approved Appraiser List,
Rule 18-1.007(2), F.A.C.
Q. What are the rules and laws governing the procedures for
the Bureau of Appraisal?
A. See Florida Administrative Code Chapters 18-1 (State Land
Acquisition Procedures), 18-2 (Management of Uplands Vested in the
Board of Trustees) and 18-21 (Sovereignty Submerged Lands
Q. How does an appraiser get on the Approved Appraiser List?
A. Complete and submit an
application for review.
Q. How can I get a copy of the Approved Appraiser List?
A. It is available on the
Appraisal page or
you may call (850) 245-2555.
Q. What is different about appraisals
performed for the Board of Trustees as compared to those performed
for banks, estates or other purposes?
A. Appraisals performed for the Board of Trustees must conform
to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the
Supplemental Appraisal Standards for Board of Trustees Land and
sometimes federal appraisal procedures.
Q. How does someone become licensed or certified to appraise real
A. Certification and licensing is handled by the
Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of
Real Estate, Real Estate Appraisal Board.
Q. Who is responsible for issuing and updating the Uniform
Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)?
Appraisal Foundation is charged with maintaining the USPAP.
Q. Are there specific procedures for performing timber
A. The Division of State Lands, Bureau of Appraisal coordinates
timber appraisals with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services’ Florida Forest Service. The procedures for timber appraisals
can be found in the
Cruise/Timber Appraisal (TCTA) Standards.
Q. Does the Bureau of Appraisal require appraisers to adhere
to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA
or “Yellow Book”)?
A. Under some circumstances the Division of State Lands requires
appraisals to be performed to these standards. However, the
appraiser will be made aware of such requirement prior to bidding on
Q. How can I donate land to the state?
A. The State of Florida does accept land donations, and the process
follows the same basic procedures as selling land to the state. An
appraisal is not required as a condition of receipt of land by the
Buy Land from the State
Q. Is there a list of all state-owned lands that are available
A. Yes. See Buy Land from the State for
a complete list of properties for bid or sale.
Q. Why can’t an individual buy property that has been
purchased for conservation? It doesn’t appear to be used by the
Department of Environmental Protection.
A. Land purchased for conservation is often unimproved, allowing
for “passive” enjoyment by the public. Some properties are obtained
for a purpose, such as preservation of habitat for a specific
species of foliage or wildlife. Still other land is purchased for
the sole purpose of preserving natural Florida for future
generations. The Florida Constitution requires that lands owned by
the state for natural resources conservation purposes be managed for
the benefit of the citizens and may be disposed of only if
two-thirds of the Board of Trustees determines that the property is
no longer needed for conservation purposes.
Q. Property owned by the state is listed as owned by TIITF or
IITF; what does this stand for?
A. It stands for
Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, which consists
of the Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture and
Consumer Services and the Chief Financial Officer of the State of
Q. What are Murphy Act Lands?
A. Chapter 18296, Laws of Florida (1937), is known as the Murphy
Act. The Act provided for forfeiture of lands for nonpayment of
property taxes. Tax certificates were issued to landowners who
failed to pay their taxes. If the taxes were not paid by June 9,
1939, title to the land went to the State, and these lands are now
administered by the Board of Trustees. Chapter 253, F.S., is where
the details for Murphy Act Lands can be reviewed. Many lands
received under the Murphy Act are wetlands or marshland or have
other natural resources and these are managed as conservation lands.
However, there are many small Murphy Act parcels scattered about the
state which are offered for sale as surplus.
Q. How does the state determine the sales price for
state-owned surplus lands?
A. Florida Statutes require that an appraisal of the property be
taken into consideration, or, when the estimated value of the land
is less than $100,000, a Comparable Sales Analysis or Broker’s
opinion of value may be considered.
Q. Can an applicant see the appraisal?
A. Florida law prohibits sharing of appraisals with applicants until
two weeks before a contract or agreement for exchange or disposal of
surplus land is first considered for approval by the Board of
Q. Who pays closing costs on land purchased from the State of
A. The Purchaser of state-owned land is responsible for all costs
associated with the purchase, including, but not limited to, all
appraisals, surveys, title searches, closing costs and
Q. What happens if the purchaser changes his mind after paying
for an appraisal?
A. The appraisal fee is non-refundable after the appraisal has been
ordered, as indicated on the Application to Purchase Surplus Lands.
Q. Is a warranty deed provided with the purchase of
A. No, Florida Administrative Code requires that property be
conveyed by a quitclaim deed without warranties or representation.
Q. Does the State donate or sell land at a reduced rate to
A. No. All surplus land sales follow requirements in Florida
Statutes. If state land is not needed for conservation or for state
agency use, it must first be offered for lease to state agencies, state
universities, and community colleges, with priority consideration given to state
universities and community colleges. It may then be offered to local governments for
appraised value prior to being offered to the public. Florida
Statutes require that the sales price for surplus land take into
consideration an appraisal or, when the estimated value of the land
is less than $100,000, a Comparable Sales Analysis or Broker’s
opinion of value may be considered.
Q. Will an adjacent land owner be given the option to purchase
the property before consideration of any other private party, local
government or state agency?
A. No. Pursuant to requirements in Florida Statutes, a parcel of
land that is being considered for surplus must first be offered for
state agencies, state universities, and community colleges, with priority consideration
given to state universities and community colleges, prior to being designated as surplus. It must then be
offered for purchase to the local government and then to the local
municipality where the property is located, prior to being offered
for sale or bid to the general public. An adjoining property owner
does not receive priority over anyone else who may be interested.
Q. How do I know if property is
currently under lease or state-owned?
A. You may send a location map
listing the Section/Township/Range to the Uplands Leasing Section of
the Division of State Lands. They will submit a request to the Title
and Land Records Section for a determination of any encumbrances,
such as an upland lease or easement, on the property. You may also
call (850) 245-2555.
Q. The county property records show that TIITF is listed as
the owner of an upland. What does TIITF stand for?
A. TIITF is short for Board of Trustees of the Internal
Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida – the entity that
holds title to state-owned lands in Florida.
Q. Must I pay a fee to use state lands?
A. This depends on the applicant and the
proposed use. Fees must be consistent with rules and
regulations (Chapter 253, F.S. and Rule 18-2, F.A.C.). For example,
a governmental entity, such as a City, can lease state-owned
conservation lands for public recreational purposes for $300
annually pursuant to Rule 18-2, F.A.C., subject to (1) determination
that no state agency needs the area for lease; and (2) approval of
the lease by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. Private
citizen requests are handled on a case-by-case basis, and any
revenue-generating activities on state-owned lands must be
competitively bid unless the Board of Trustees (Governor and
Cabinet) determine the project is in the public interest.
Q. What is an easement?
A. An easement is a non-possessory interest in uplands
created by a grant or agreement, which gives the applicant
the limited right, liberty and privilege to use uplands for a
specific purpose, term and fee. Easements provide a less-than-fee
interest in the property.
Q. What can be done about a neighbor placing trash over his
A. Unless there is state-owned property involved, the Board of
Trustees has no jurisdiction. Contact local law enforcement.
Q. How are reservations released?
A. There are
three types of reservations:
1. Oil and mineral
reservations (right-of-entry and exploration only);
2. Road right-of-way reservations; and
3. Canal reservations.
The application and instruction sheet explaining the requirements
for obtaining releases of reservations are available under
Links and Resources. You may also contact the Division of State Lands’
Bureau of Public Land Administration at (850) 245-2555. An
application is not needed for releasing right-of-way entry and
exploration for oil and mineral reservations on parcels less than 20
acres (Florida Statute 270.11). For parcels larger than 20 acres,
the developer must submit an affidavit certifying that each parcel
will be a permanent building site and identifying what will be
built, the proposed dates of construction and indicating the land
will not involve phosphate mineral, metal or petroleum extraction.
Q. What is the process for obtaining a lease or easement over
A. The application forms are available under Links and Resources
State-Owned Lands). You many also contact DEP's Division of State Lands at (850) 245-2555
for an upland lease or upland easement application. If applying for
lease or easement, complete the appropriate application and return
it to the Division of State Lands with all
materials requested in the application, plus a $300 nonrefundable
Submerged Land Leases
Q. I want to build a dock on private property. Who should I
contact for permitting?
A. Contact the local DEP district office
for the county where the facility will be located.
Q. I want to obtain a submerged land lease. Who should I
contact for permitting?
A. Contact the local DEP district office
for the county where the facility will be located.
Q. How can I determine the status of a lease once the
Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) has been approved?
A. Contact the Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555.
Q. How can I modify or change a submerged lands
A. To change boundaries or revise lease
conditions of a leased area, contact the
DEP district office
for the county where the facility is located. For renewals and
assignments to a new upland owner, contact the Division of State Lands at (850) 245-2555. All
fees must be current and income reported before any modification
will be allowed.
Q. How long will it take to process a lease?
A. From the time the Division of State Lands receives a lease package from the
District Office, it takes approximately 3-5 weeks before the lease
is mailed to the lessee for execution.
Q. How long are the terms of a lease?
A. Most leases have a standard term of five years. If a facility
is 90 percent open to the general public for rent on a first come
first served basis, then they would have a standard ten year lease term (18-21.008(1) F.A.C.).
Some leases may qualify for a term up to 25 years if they meet the criteria in 18-21.008(2)(a) F.A.C.
Q. Who can I contact for survey information on state lands
A. Contact the Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555.
Q. Who must pay a Submerged Land Lease Fee?
A. This is defined in Rule 18-21, F.A.C., which potentially
includes single family homes, condominiums and commercial marinas.
Q. When is the Annual Fee due?
A. Annual fees are due on the anniversary date of the lease,
which is the date the lease was executed. Lease holders may expect
to receive annual invoices 15 to 30 days prior to the
Q. What is the rate that is used to calculate the Annual
Submerged Land Lease Fee?
A. The rate is a five year average of the Consumer Price Index,
and the current rate is .156623. This rate is updated every March 1st,
pursuant to Rule 18-21, F.A.C.
Q. How is the Annual Submerged Land Lease Fee calculated?
A. [(Square Feet times Rate) Less Discount)] Plus Surcharge, if
applicable, or 6 percent of the Gross Revenue received from the
use, whichever is greater.
Q. Is this 6 percent State Tax?
A. No, Rule 18-21.011 (1) (a) 1., F.A.C., states that
you pay an annual submerged land lease fee or 6 percent of the gross
revenue generated on state-owned property, whichever is greater. It
is defined as the lease payment for using state-owned property.
Q. Are discounts available to marina owners? How do they
A. There is a 10 percent Clean Marina Discount for
facilities that qualify; marina owners must contact the
Clean Marina Program and meet their qualifications. There is a
30 percent discount for facilities that are open to the public on a
first come first served basis. A marina must be 90 percent or
greater open to anyone, with no qualifying requirements and with
only a one year lease term. All publications for the facility must
state this and have signs landward and waterward of the docking
Q. Who is responsible for reporting the revenue for a wet
A. The state lands leaseholder is responsible for reporting all
revenue received either directly for the use of a wet slip or
revenue received by another party for the use of a wet slip within
that leaseholder’s lease boundary.
Q. Are leaseholders required to report revenue?
A. Every state lands leaseholder is responsible for reporting
the revenue received either directly or indirectly on an annual
basis through a self report form mailed to them each year with the
annual base invoice. The report is to be completed and returned by
each leaseholder in compliance with the terms and conditions of the
lease, regardless of revenue.
Q. May Wet Slips (Boat Slips) be bought or sold?
A. Facilities that are required by their lease terms to be open
to the public on a first come first serve basis may offer 10 percent
of their slips for exclusive use. Facilities that are not required
by their lease terms to be open to the public on a first come first
serve basis may offer exclusive rights to use for all wet slips
Q. Is it legal that a condominium provides a wet slip as an
A. It is legal to give an exclusive right to use a wet slip and
include reference to that exclusive right in a Warranty Deed. The
wet slip should not be included in the legal description or any
claim to the bottom land be stated in the Warranty Deed. There
should also be an Exclusive Right to Use document issued between the
leaseholder and the Warranty Deed owner. The exclusive rights
document shall state that there is no claim to the sovereign lands
and reference the lease and the term, Rule 18-21.011, F.A.C, and
information in regard to the 6 percent that is due on the entire
sale transaction attributable to the wet slip. This includes slips
that belong to an upland home. Wet slip use
agreements should not be contrary to other documents presented to DEP at the time the lease was issued, such as but not limited to the
Declaration of Condominium and its recorded uses of common area and
limited common area.
Q. Where do I mail lease fees?
A. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of
State Lands, P.O. Box 3070, Tallahassee, FL 32315-3070.
Q. Who do I make my lease fee check payable to?
A. Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Q. How do I report suspicious activity (i.e. dumping) that
may be affecting the environment?
A. Dial #DEP on a cell
phone or call 1-877-2-Save-FL. Appropriate law enforcement
offices will be notified.
Q: How can I determine if there are conservation
lands in a particular area?
A: Visit www.fnai.org
and click on Interactive Map under Conservation Lands for a
Q: When are land management plans due?
plans are required to be submitted to DEP's Division of State Lands
within 12 months of a fully executed lease. Once the plan is received and
approved, it should be updated every 10 years.
Q: Will a land management review team ever visit the property I manage for conservation purposes?
A: Yes. If the
managed land is owned by the Board of Trustees,
a land management review team may visit it. If the managed land is owned by the
Board of Trustees and is greater than 1,000 acres, it must be
reviewed every 5 years. If the managed land is owned by a
water management district, a land management
review team may visit it.
Survey and Mapping
Q. Where can I find Benchmark information?
A. The Division of State Lands maintains benchmark information
from various State and Federal governments, available online at
Q. Where can I find horizontal survey control
A. The Division of State Lands maintains horizontal information from
various State and Federal governments, available online at
Q. Where can I get information on determining Mean
High Water Survey data?
A. Existing Mean High Water Information can be found at
LABINS. For procedures to establish a Mean High Water Line,
Q. Where can I find recent and historic aerial photography that
covers a job site?
A. For the most recent, as well as some historic,
aerial photography visit the
Florida Department of Transportation.
For older aerial photography, visit the
University of Florida. Both are free services, although the FDOT
site requires registration.
offers Digital Ortho Quarter Quads in Universal Transverse Mercator
(UTM), State Plane and Albers
Q. How can I obtain a certified corner record?
Q. How can I obtain an Erosion Control Line survey?
A. Erosion Control Line surveys should be obtained from the
Public Records of the county where the line exists. Backups of the
unrecorded maps and descriptions can be downloaded from
LABINS; however, this information may not be as accurate as that
recorded in the county public records.
Q. How can I get a property surveyed? Will the Division of
State Lands do it?
A. The Division of State Lands' Bureau of Survey and Mapping does not perform private
surveys for individuals. For private property surveys, refer to your local
Q. Where can I obtain copies of U.S. Government Survey
Field Notes (GLO) and any resurveys? Does the Division of State
Lands have field notes and plats for work areas?
A. These documents can be found at
Q. How can I get a determination of state ownership of
property, including ownership of lakes, streams, and submerged
A. Call the Division of State Lands' Title and Land Records
Section at 850.245.2555.
Q. How can I get a current map of Florida?
A. The Division of State Lands does not have copies of state maps. To obtain a Florida road
map or maps of individual counties, contact the
Florida Department of Transportation.
Q. Where is the boundary of an aquatic preserve?
A. Aquatic preserves are managed by the Florida Department of
of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA).
Q. How does a filled land area qualify for a recordable
document (certificate) pursuant to section 253.12(9) & (10) F.S.,
since it was filled prior to 1975?
A. Completion of the
the recordable document will reveal whether the filled land area
qualifies for a recordable document.
Q. How can I determine whether a permanent improvement to
submerged land qualifies for Butler Act?
A. Review the application for
determine whether the area of interest qualifies.
Q. How can I get historic information on a parcel of
A. This information is available to the public and some
records can be found on
LABINS. The Title and Land Records section of the Bureau of Survey
and Mapping is sometimes called upon to assist researchers,
attorneys, historians, authors and genealogists to obtain
information on land parcels. Some of the items available are
copies of deeds, including deeds of acquisition and
disposition of state lands, original surveys with field notes from
surveys of the state initiated in the 1800s, historic surveyor
instructions, U.S. patents, Armed Occupation Permits and other
information related to historic state land records. You may call the
Division of State Lands, Title and Land Records Section, at (850) 245-2555 for further information.
Disposition of State Lands and
Facilities Annual Report
The Division of State Lands (DSL), as staff to the Board of
Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of
Florida (BOT), is Florida’s lead agency for environmental management
and stewardship. DSL’s role goes far beyond just acquiring lands for
protection. It provides oversight for the management of activities on more
than 12 million acres of public lands including lakes, rivers, and islands.
These public lands help ensure Florida’s residents and visitors have the
opportunity to truly appreciate Florida’s unique landscapes.
The BOT owns approximately 3.3 million acres of uplands
(3.1 million acres of conservation lands and .2 million acres
of non-conservation lands). In addition, there are .5 million
acres of conservation easements. Most of this land is actively
used by state agencies for recreation or conservation purposes,
and is protected by the Florida Constitution to preserve Florida’s
natural and cultural resources.
Q. Why identify and surplus public land?
A. Occasionally state-owned land is determined to be no longer needed by
the state. The Division of State Lands’ mission statement stresses that
we are the “Public Land Stewards” and we take great pride in making sure
that before any lands are considered for surplus that they are not needed
for conservation purposes or public use. Lands will only be made available
for public ownership after careful review and analysis.
Q. How can the public locate surplus land for sale?
A. If property is cleared through the disposition process
and becomes surplus, it will be placed on the Division of
State Lands sales list and could be sold to the public.
It would be listed on the DSL website (www.dep.state.fl.us/lands).
Q. What are the reasons for surplusing specific properties?
- A parcel that was purchased as part of a larger acquisition,
and that is not needed to achieve the purpose of the larger land purchase.
- Example: A landowner sells the state 500 acres of
land, 450 of which is known conservation land, while
the other 50 has no conservation value. The landowner will
only sell the 450 acres of resource land if the state also
purchases the other 50 acres. The 50 acres would likely ultimately
be considered surplus; however, it may show as 50 acres of conservation
land, purely for the fact it was purchased using conservation funds, even
though there is no conservation value.
- Parcels thought to be needed for state government to meet
its future needs or was purchased for a specific purpose, which are no longer needed.
- Example: A building may be purchased for anticipated
growth of an agency, but the growth doesn’t occur, such as some
Highway Safety & Motor Vehicle offices that will not be needed,
and are currently listed for potential disposition.
- Example: Closure of a facility, especially hospitals or
correctional facilities, such as Sunland Hospital in Tallahassee.
- Parcels donated to the state or that came into state
ownership as a result of the Murphy Act which are not needed for public purposes.
Q. What are the benefits of surplusing property?
- When public land is sold to private entities,
these parcels are put on county tax rolls and generate revenue for local governments.
- DEP staff always works to obtain the best possible price for
all properties sold.
- Once any lands are selected for surplus and sold, the proceeds
go into either the fund from which the lands were acquired or the
Internal Improvement Trust Fund for the protection and conservation of
public lands. Money does not go into the state’s general revenue.
Q. What is the surplus process?
A. State property owned by the BOT must go through a
specific process before it can be disposed, pursuant to statute and
rule. Steps vary depending on whether the property is conservation land or
- Non-Conservation Land
- Before any property can be offered to the public it must first be
offered to the following:
- State Universities, Florida College System institutions,
and/or state agencies for lease.
- Local governments to purchase at market value.
- If more than one of the above public entities shows interest,
preference goes as follows: state universities and Florida College
System institutions, state agencies for lease then local governments for sale.
- If there is no government entity interest, the
property is made available to the public.
- BOT must approve the sale of any property more than
$500,000 and any sale between $100,000 and $500,000 that is
to be sold for less than market value.
- Conservation Land
- Conservation land must first go to the Acquisition
and Restoration Council (ARC) before any other steps can be taken.
- If ARC approves of the disposition of the
property it follows the same process as non-conservation land for noticing.
- All conservation land, no matter the size or value, must be
approved by the BOT and determined to be no longer needed for
conservation purposes, before a sale can be finalized.
Q. What is the disposition report?
A. The Disposition of State Lands and Facilities Annual Report is
produced per Section 216.0153, Florida Statutes, and requires DEP to
submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the
House of Representatives by October 1 of each year a list of state owned property
recommended for disposition.
The report is a result of great interagency collaboration between not
only Department of Management Services and DEP, but also nearly 50
state agencies, offices and departments, state universities and community
colleges to survey and catalog their facilities and property. Property will
continue to be evaluated for possible surplus throughout the year and findings
updated annually on October 1.
In 2013, section 216.0152, Florida Statute was revised, part of which,
incorporated the Disposition of State Lands and Facilities annual report
as part of the DMS and DEP Facilities Inventory Report due Oct 1 of each year.
Q. Where is the disposition report located?
A. It is available on the Division of State Lands website:
of State Lands and Facilities Annual Report.
Q. What does the report identify/outline?
A. Each annual report provides an update to the previous annual report.
It lists state-owned properties that have the potential for disposition
(including vacant land and land with facilities); have been sold; or have
been placed under management leases since the previous report.
The report encompasses three different types of state-owned property
with potential for disposition:
- Under Contract/In Negotiations – this means they are in
contract/negotiations to be sold or exchanged to a private party
or local government entity.
- Active – in the process of noticing meaning the
current lessee or DSL no longer needs the property, but another
public entity may be interested or the noticing process has been
completed and the parcel is in the valuation process or available for sale/bid.
- Possible Surplus/To Be Determined (TBD) – in the
process of being analyzed (i.e., FNAI analysis), very
beginning of the process, these parcels are not currently for sale.