(1) The department is empowered and authorized to identify for acquisition lands, water areas, and related resources and to perform all other activities necessary or incident to improving, maintaining, selling, leasing, or disposing of land, water areas, and related resources, and improvements thereon. Prior to the acquisition of such land by the department, the seller of the land shall file a statement with the department disclosing, for at least the last 5 years prior to the conveyance of title to the state, all financial transactions concerning the land, and all parties having a financial interest in any transaction. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall hold title to lands so acquired, but the beneficial use, control, and management shall be with the department. All lands identified for acquisition under this chapter shall be acquired with funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
(2) The department may acquire, control, and oversee the development and use of all land, water areas, and related resources generally classified as outdoor areas and may construct, improve, enlarge, extend, and maintain capital improvements and facilities upon such outdoor areas as needed. In performing these functions, the department shall give full consideration to the recommendations of the committee and of other agencies using or desiring to use land or water areas provided by the department.
(3)(a) All land, water areas, and related resources hereafter needed by the state for outdoor recreation, wildlife management, forestry management, nature preservation, water conservation and control, and other similar or related purposes shall be acquired by the Division of State Lands of the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to the procedures set forth in chapter 253.
(b) On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and before the appraisal of a parcel approved for purchase pursuant to this chapter, the Secretary of Environmental Protection or the director of the Division of State Lands may enter into an option contract to buy such parcel. The option contract shall state that the final purchase price is subject to approval by the board and that this price may not exceed the maximum offer allowed by law. The consideration for such option may not exceed $1,000 or .01 percent of the estimate by the department of the value of the parcel, whichever is greater.
(4) The department may acquire by purchase, lease-purchase agreement, or otherwise, on such terms and conditions as it deems wise, any land, water areas, related resources, or other property which it deems is reasonably necessary for outdoor recreation or natural resources conservation under this act, and any and all rights, title, and interest in such land, water areas, related resources, and other property, including any public lands, parks, playgrounds, reservations, roads, or parkways, owned by or in which any county, political subdivision, city, town, village, public agency, or officer of the state has any right, title, or interest, or parts thereof or rights therein and any fee simple absolute or lesser interest in private property, and fee simple absolute in, easement upon, or the benefit of restrictions upon, abutting property to preserve and protect recreation and conservation areas and projects.
(5) Land, water areas, and related resources which may be identified through the procedures provided in this act include, but are not limited to, parks and recreation areas, wildlife preserves, forest areas, wetlands, floodways and water storage areas, beaches, water access sites, boating and navigational channels, submerged lands, historical and archaeological sites, and rights-of-way and sites for access roads which may be necessary for maximum development, use, and enjoyment of any outdoor recreation or conservation areas. The terms “land” and “lands” where used singly in this act shall be construed as inclusive of lands, water areas, and related resources.
(6) The department may acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, in accordance with the statutes of the state, any land or water areas, related resources, and property and any and all rights, title, and interest in such land or water areas, related resources, and other property which it determines reasonably necessary for the preservation of floodways and water storage areas, boating and navigational channels, rights-of-way for access roads which may be necessary for maximum development and use of any outdoor recreation and conservation areas, and rights-of-way for access which may be necessary for the use and enjoyment of public waterways.
(7) The department may contract for the management or lease of acquired land, water areas, and related resources, or improvements thereon, with any state agency for its authorized purposes. The department may, in its discretion, require such state agency to pay, as rentals on such land, water areas, related resources, or improvements, all or any part of the revenues derived from the land.
(8) The department may, if it deems it desirable and in the best interest of the program, request the board of trustees to sell or otherwise dispose of any lands or water storage areas acquired under this act. The board of trustees, when so requested, shall offer the lands or water storage areas, on such terms as the department may determine, first to other state agencies and then, if still available, to the county or municipality in which the lands or water storage areas lie. If not acquired by another state agency or local governmental body for beneficial public purposes, the lands or water storage areas shall then be offered by the board of trustees at public sale, after first giving notice of such sale by publication in a newspaper published in the county or counties in which such lands or water storage areas lie not less than once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. All proceeds from the sale or disposition of any lands or water storage areas pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
(9) The department may sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of certain products and user rights in, under, or upon land, water areas, and related resources acquired under the provisions of this act, including, but not limited to, oil and minerals, timber and forest products, sand, gravel, earth, grazing rights, and farming rights on such terms and conditions as it determines, if the sale, lease, or other disposition is not inconsistent with or injurious to the outdoor recreation, conservation, and other purposes for which such lands and water areas were acquired.
(10) The department is empowered and authorized to provide matching funds to counties and municipalities of up to 50 percent of the cost of purchasing, exclusive of condemnation, rights-of-way for access roads or walkways to public beaches contiguous with the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.