Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Land Management Plans for State Forests

Current Management Plans | Public Hearings 

The Florida Forest Service oversees the management of Florida's 1 million acres of state forests. The Land Planning and Administration Section, in cooperation with field staff, prepares land management plans for all lands purchased under the state's acquisition programs (e.g., Conservation and Recreational Lands, Preservation 2000, Florida Forever). The purpose of these plans is to incorporate, evaluate and prioritize all relevant information about the site into a cohesive management strategy, allowing for appropriate access to the managed areas while protecting the long-term health of the ecosystems and their resources.

These Ten-Year Land Management Plans are not annual work plans or detailed operational plans, but provide general guidance for the management of each state forest by outlining the major concepts that will guide management activities on those forests. Each land management plan is evaluated periodically and revised as necessary to allow for strategic improvements. They are provided in accordance with Sections 253.034, 259.032, and 373, Florida Statutes, and are prepared using guidelines outlined in Section 18-2.021 of the Florida Administrative Code

The state's lands and natural resources are managed using a stewardship ethic that ensures these resources will be available for the benefit and enjoyment of all people of the state, both present and future. All management strategies, where feasible and consistent with the goals of protection and conservation of natural resources, shall:

  • Integrate human use through a multiple-use concept, not emphasizing any particular use over the others
  • Restore, maintain, and protect in perpetuity all native ecosystems, ensuring the long-term viability of populations and species considered rare, endangered, threatened, or of special concern
  • Protect known archeological and historical resources
  • Practice sustainable forest management utilizing sound silvicultural techniques

Goals, objectives and strategies are established in the land management plan to address these issues. These components are all key elements in an effective management program for achieving the mission of each state forest.

Public Hearings

Once a draft land management plan is developed, it is presented to the public at a formal public meeting and on the website. The objectives of this formal public meeting are to receive public input regarding issues and opportunities that should be addressed in the Ten-Year Land Management Plan. With this input, the plan is further amended and finalized to be sent to the  Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) for consideration. After any necessary changes are made and ARC approves the plan, it is presented to the Governor and Cabinet for adoption.

Pursuant to Chapter 286.0105, Florida Statutes, should you decide to appeal any decision made at the hearing and meeting referred to above, you may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made. Such record shall include the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.