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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 259
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F.S. 259.1052
259.1052 Babcock Crescent B Ranch Florida Forever acquisition; conditions for purchase.
(1) The acquisition of the state’s portion of the Babcock Crescent B Ranch by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is a conservation acquisition under the Florida Forever program created in s. 259.105, with a goal of sustaining the ecological and economic integrity of the property being acquired while allowing the business of the ranch to operate and prosper.
(2) The Babcock Crescent B Ranch constitutes a unique land mass that has significant scientific, cultural, historical, recreational, ecological, wildlife, fisheries, and productive values. The property is part of a potential greenway of undeveloped land extending from Lake Okeechobee to the east and Charlotte Harbor to the west. The natural beauty and abundant resources of the ranch provide numerous public recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and hunting.
(3) The Legislature recognizes that the acquisition of the state’s portion of the Babcock Crescent B Ranch represents a unique opportunity to assist in preserving the largest private and undeveloped single-ownership tract of land in Charlotte County. The Legislature further recognizes Lee County as a partner in the acquisition of the ranch. Upon the termination or expiration of the management agreement, Lee County will retain ownership and assume responsibility for management of the Lee County portion of the acquisition. Lee County and the lead manager may enter into an agreement for management of the Lee County property.
(4) This section authorizes the acquisition of the state’s portion of the Babcock Crescent B Ranch in order to protect and preserve for future generations the scientific, scenic, historic, and natural values of the ranch, including rivers and ecosystems; to protect and preserve the archaeological, geological, and cultural resources of the ranch; to provide for species recovery; and to provide opportunities for public recreation compatible with the working ranch and agricultural activities conducted on the property.
(5) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall, with the cooperation of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, be the lead managing agency responsible for the management of Babcock Crescent B Ranch.
History.s. 7, ch. 2006-231; s. 2, ch. 2013-226; s. 25, ch. 2016-233.