• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Definitions of terms used
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Objectives and procedure
 General characteristics
 Public land ownership
 Private rural land
 Area comparisons
 Summary and conclusions
 Notes and references
 Acknowledgments
 Back Cover
 Historic note






Group Title: Bulletin - Agricultural Experiment Stations, University of Florida ; 766
Title: Florida's rural land
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027445/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida's rural land how its ownership is distributed
Series Title: Bulletin Agricultural Experiment Stations, University of Florida
Physical Description: 33 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Alleger, Daniel E
Publisher: Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1974
 Subjects
Subject: Land tenure -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 32.
Statement of Responsibility: Daniel E. Alleger.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027445
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000361680
oclc - 01304903
notis - ACA0114
lccn - 75622513

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Definitions of terms used
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Objectives and procedure
        Page 1
        Page 2
    General characteristics
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Public land ownership
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Private rural land
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Area comparisons
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Notes and references
        Page 32
    Acknowledgments
        Page 33
    Back Cover
        Page 34
    Historic note
        Page 35
Full Text
Bulletin 766


FLORIDA'S RURAL LAND--
How Its Ownership is Distributed

Daniel E. Alleger








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Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
J. W. Sites, Dean for Research, University of Florida, Gainesville


July 1974














FLORIDA'S RURAL LAND HOW ITS
OWNERSHIP IS DISTRIBUTED

Daniel E. Alleger
Associate Professor of Food and Resource Economics, Retired
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Florida


This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of
$1,847.45 or 23 cents per copy to disseminate research re-
sults in estimating the extent of large-scale rural land
ownership in Florida.












DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED


FEDERAL LAND. Public land owned and administered by the
federal government, or agencies thereof.
INLAND WATER AREAS.-These are ponds, lakes, or similar water
areas containing 40 acres or more, and rivers, streams, and canals of
1/ mile or more in width, as they appear on maps.
LAND AREA.-The total surface area less areas classified as inland
and small water areas.
LAND OWNER.-A person, corporation or other entity having
possession of the land and usually with the right to use, sell, bequeath,
subdivide, enlarge, mortgage, and to foreclose, among others. In
instances these rights are divided, or they may in part be leased to
others. In this report, the person, or other being, against whom
property taxes were levied was classified as the owner.
LARGE-SCALE HOLDINGS.-This term is synonymous with large-scale
rural land ownership, or large-scale private holdings and, generally
speaking, applies to an owner as above defined who possesses and
pays taxes on a rural land holding of 1,000 acres or more in at least
one of Florida's 67 counties.
OTHER (OR UNCLASSIFIED) OWNERSHIP.-The total rural land area
less land in federal, state, and semi-public ownership. Although the
majority of this land is in private ownership it also includes land in
roads, highways, railway rights-of-way as well as land owned by
counties and municipalities.
,PUBLIC LAND.-Land owned and administered by federal, state,
county, and municipal governments, or agencies thereof.
PRIVATE LAND.-All land not in public ownership.
RAILWAY RIGHTS-OF-WAY.-Rural lands possessed and used by rail-












roads as based upon linear main line mileage and 200-foot rights-of-
way from data on file with the Railroad Assessment Board, Tallahassee,
as of December 31, 1946.
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS.-Roads and highways are terms referring
to road-beds, rights-of-way, and other needs, such as bridges, required
for the maintenance of travel and other transportation uses. Acreages
in roads and highways were estimated from data on file in the State
Road Department, Tallahassee, as of December 31, 1946.
RURAL BUILT-UP AREAS.-All rural built-up areas of more than 10
acres beyond urban boundaries. They include residential areas, in-
dustrial areas (except borrow, gravel pits, and strip mines), airports,
cemeteries, institutional and public administration sites, golf courses,
railroad yards, shooting ranges, etc.
RURAL LAND AREA.-This is the total area of the state less inland
water, small water, and urban areas.
RURAL LAND INVENTORY.-Inventory is the term used to catalog the
number of acres of rural land in both public and private ownership,
by county.
SEMI-PUBLIC LAND.-Land which is neither exclusively public nor
private.
SMALL WATER AREAS.-Ponds and lakes containing over two acres
but less than 40 acres, and rivers and streams that are less than 'V mile
in width.
STATE LAND.-Land for which ownership titles are vested in the
state or agencies thereof.
TOTAL AREA.-The total surface area of the state, including both
land and water.
URBAN AREAS.-Places in which 1,000 or more inhabitants were
enumerated by the U. S. census in 1960.









CONTENTS


I

INTRODUCTION ......................... ............ --



OBJECTIVES AND PROCEDURE ...................................

O objectives ........-- ....... ...............................

P procedure ............ .................................

M ethod of A analysis .. ......... ... ............................ ......

Limitations Inherent in Data .. ... ...................................



GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS ............................ .....



PUBLIC LAND OWNERSHIP ................................

Federal Land ...... ............. ...................... ..................

State Land ................ .........................................

Sem i-Public Land .................. ...- ...... ...................... ..


PRIVATE RURAL LAND .............. .........

Large-scale Private Holdings ................................... .....

Absentee Owners .......-...... ............. ............... .


AREA COMPARISONS -

Area 1 .........................

Area 2 ...................

Area 3 .............-..-....

Area 4 .....................

Resume ..................


'age

1


7

7

10

13


........... 14

......... 15

.......... 21



........ 22

...... 24

......... 25

......... 25

.......... 27

.......... 29


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Summary ........-......-----........

Conclusions ----.......



NOTES AND REFERENCES .......



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ..........-


.................. -- .........................................

------------- I ................................... .............

.................. -- ................. ........... -------

---------------_--_--- ----------------

-------_----- .......................... ---

------------- I ....... -.- --- ............... ---- ------- -







FLORIDA'S RURAL LAND HOW ITS
OWNERSHIP IS DISTRIBUTED



INTRODUCTION

In nearly every part of Florida residents have long been
reconciled to the fact that tenure rights to most rural land are
held by comparatively few owners. What is less generally
known is that approximately 2,100 owners effectively control
nearly half the rural land area of the state. Without passing
judgement upon the rights or wrongs of the existing situation,
the main purpose in this presentation is to inform the public by
tabular exhibits of the magnitude of large-scale rural land
ownership in Florida. Such knowledge is crucial if state and
local governments are to act wisely in coping with the urgent
present and future land needs of a predominantly urbanized
society.
At the present time nowhere is there available an adequate,
current index of the total acreage of Florida's rural land
according to any functional classification of ownership. This
report is one step in that direction. The way land is distributed
among owners vitally affects land utilization and planning,
especially for agriculture and rural area development. To be
effective in planning for the future, it is imperative that public
officials recognize how the concentration of land ownership
promotes or impedes the human needs of society. Hopefully,
this report will help to generate effective appraisals.

OBJECTIVES AND PROCEDURE
The main objective of this study was to develop informa-
tional data regarding large-scale land holdings, largely by
careful perusal of county tax assessment rolls.

Objectives
Land has long been recognized as one of the most basic
resources of Florida. Ownership of land bestows "bundles of
rights" to the possessors over its control and use. Today the
varied and often highly competitive demands for land arise
from modern conditions of living and outlook. Airports, high-
ways, recreational areas, environmental control projects, to
name a few, all compete for rural land. Moreover, public and
private uses of land are sometimes in conflict. For these and







FLORIDA'S RURAL LAND HOW ITS
OWNERSHIP IS DISTRIBUTED



INTRODUCTION

In nearly every part of Florida residents have long been
reconciled to the fact that tenure rights to most rural land are
held by comparatively few owners. What is less generally
known is that approximately 2,100 owners effectively control
nearly half the rural land area of the state. Without passing
judgement upon the rights or wrongs of the existing situation,
the main purpose in this presentation is to inform the public by
tabular exhibits of the magnitude of large-scale rural land
ownership in Florida. Such knowledge is crucial if state and
local governments are to act wisely in coping with the urgent
present and future land needs of a predominantly urbanized
society.
At the present time nowhere is there available an adequate,
current index of the total acreage of Florida's rural land
according to any functional classification of ownership. This
report is one step in that direction. The way land is distributed
among owners vitally affects land utilization and planning,
especially for agriculture and rural area development. To be
effective in planning for the future, it is imperative that public
officials recognize how the concentration of land ownership
promotes or impedes the human needs of society. Hopefully,
this report will help to generate effective appraisals.

OBJECTIVES AND PROCEDURE
The main objective of this study was to develop informa-
tional data regarding large-scale land holdings, largely by
careful perusal of county tax assessment rolls.

Objectives
Land has long been recognized as one of the most basic
resources of Florida. Ownership of land bestows "bundles of
rights" to the possessors over its control and use. Today the
varied and often highly competitive demands for land arise
from modern conditions of living and outlook. Airports, high-
ways, recreational areas, environmental control projects, to
name a few, all compete for rural land. Moreover, public and
private uses of land are sometimes in conflict. For these and







other reasons the following objectives were specified for this
study:
1. Determine the physical area of all the rural land in
Florida held in both public and private ownership;
2. Ascertain the amount of private land by county in
large-scale ownership (1,000 acres and over per owner);
3. Approximate the residual amount of private rural land
available to others.

Procedure
In Florida the primary sources of information about rural
land ownership are county tax assessment rolls. The plan of this
study called for the review of all such rolls. However, this
proved to be difficult due to differences in the format, indexing,
and availability of tax rolls. In many counties names and
addresses of owners, or of persons against whom the land was
assessed, appeared-on tax rolls together with the number of
acres owned, but in some counties only names and addresses
were listed, and acreage data were separately maintained and
often difficult to secure.
In several instances tax office personnel by agreement
contributed or tabulated the ownership data required for this
study, but most of the acreage estimates presented herein were
secured directly by field research from either 1969, 1970, or
1971 county tax rolls, according to their availability for public
use. Tax assessors in the northern counties stated that although
transfers of ownership of large blocks of rural land did take
place in some instances between 1969 and 1971, the acreages
involved remained virtually unchanged.

Method of Analysis
All the land ownership data secured for this study were
coded and placed on cards for computerization to minimize the
possibility of human error. In addition to the land ownership
information secured on the county level, data regarding the
land in Florida owned both by the state and the federal govern-
ments, or agencies thereof, were provided by the respective
governments. These data are presented in Tables 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Limitations Inherent in Data
Although the compilation of land ownership data by
manual tabulation from county tax assessment rolls is consid-
ered highly reliable, the nonexistence of a name list of all
large-scale owners hampered the attainment of complete







accuracy. Owners had to be identified by the field workers by
whatever techniques seemed most appropriate to specific
circumstances. Moreover, many tax assessors used coded name
lists which of necessity restricted searches to those owners who
had applied for and were granted agricultural assessments. In
addition, the time available to complete the field work did not
permit a check of deed or plat books, which on occasion would
have been necessary to determine acreages. Consequently the
results exhibited in this report are conservative.
One of the main obstacles preventing a complete search of
all 67 county tax rolls of Florida was the lack of uniformity of
tax rolls.1 Frequently, code numbers appeared on a tax roll in
lieu of acreages and only those thoroughly familiar with the tax
roll could readily extract the data required. As a result, all
counties in Area 3 of the state were bypassed, except for a
sampling of two counties. To partially overcome this deficiency
large-scale farm operations in Area 3 were substituted.
The term "large-scale farms" as used in this report were
farms containing 1,000 acres or over, as listed in the 1969 United
States Census of Agriculture (10). These data, as herein
presented, should be accepted as illustrative only because land
in an individual farm may have been located in two or more
counties when the federal census was taken. In such cases the
entire farm was enumerated in the county in which the farm
operator lived.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
The state of Florida contains a total surface area of 58,560
square miles, approximating 37,478,840 acres (Table 1).
Included in the total area are 2,860,536 acres of inland water
(9, p. 5)2, 239,654 acres in small water areas (5, pp. 13-14), and
770,112 acres in urban areas (9, Table 1). The balance, or
33,608,538 acres is the rural land area, as used in this report.
For comparative purposes the state has been delineated
into four forest survey areas (7, Foreword). These areas are
herein termed Areas 1, 2, 3, and 4 (Figure 1). Areas 1 and 2 are

'As of July, 1970, county tax assessment rolls in 34 counties were computer-
ized, 27 were prepared by addressograph systems, and six by a manual system
(typed). Although the computerization of a tax roll permits a very accurate
retrieval of data, the costs of such retrieval were beyond the funds allocated to
this study. A subsequent study with a similar intent as this would be impossible
without adequate financing because all counties will eventually employ
computer systems for tax roll preparation.
2See Notes and References, page, for references numbered in parentheses.








Table 1.- Total surface area, areas in acres for inland water, small water areas, land area, urban
areas, and rural land by county, Florida, 1970


Acreage by classification

Total Inland Small Land Urban Rural
area water areas water areas area area land area


.................................................. Acres ............-................................
37,478,840 2,860,536 239,654 34,378,650 770,112 33,608,538


State Total

Alachua
Baker
Bay
Bradford
Brevard

Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay

Collier
Columbia
Dade
De Soto
Dixie

Duval
Escambia
Flagler
Franklin
Gadsden

Gilchrist
Glades
Gulf
Hamilton
Hardee

Hendry
Hernando
Highlands
Hillsborough
Holmes

Indian River
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lake


617,600
376,320
551,040
192,640
838,400

780,800
362,880
532,480
423,040
412,160

1,356,160
504,960
1,349,760
416,640
453,760

537,600
484,480
322,560
361,600
334,720

222,720
574,720
369,920
329,600
403,200

760,960
325,120
716,160
679,680
309,760

351,360
606,720
389,760
352,640
744,320


31,552 3,464
2,176 48
72,704 1,998
4,672 94
191,360 1,439

832 9,209
3,968 639
82,560 2,940
64,832 3,533
32,640 1,123

72,192 293
3,136 2,912
42,944 14,000
2,112 485
10,624 3,865

47,552 2,283
58,880 395
10,688 797
18,402 2,113
6,848 1,736

1,088 1,270
92,800 475
8,512 3,340
512 2,715
512 828

1,280 800
15,168 4,145
78,080a 11,521
15,488 8,231
1,408 1,194

27,264 1,855
8,192 6,986
2,432 2,512
1,472 3,644
129,536 18,835


Continued


County


582,584 11,968
374,096 1,408
476,338 11,712
187,874 3,712
645,601 39,040

770,759 52,544
358,273 1,600
446,980 3,712
354,675 5,120
378,397 3,648

1,283,675 6,080
498,912 3,776
1,292,816 77,312
414,043 2,560
439,271 704

487,765 28,288
425,205 23,360
311,075 1,600
341,085 2,496
326,136 6,848

220,362 -
481,445 -
358,068 5,568
326,373 704
401,860 2,048

758,880 5,312
305,807 1,280
626,559 5,696
655,961 55,424
307,158 1,984

322,241 8,192
591,542 8,256
384,816 1,536
347,524 -
595,949 14,464


570,616
372,688
464,626
184,162
606,561

718,215
356,673
443,268
349,555
374,749

1,277,595
495,136
1,215,504
411,483
438,567

459,477
401,845
309,475
338,589
319,288

220,362
481,445
352,500
325,669
399,812

753,568
304,527
620,863
600,537
305,174

314,049
583,286
383,280
347,524
581,485








Table 1.- Total surface area, areas in acres for inland water, small water areas, land area, urban
areas, and rural land by county, Florida, 1970 (Continued)


Acreage by classification

County Total Inland Small Land Urban Rural
area water areas water areas area area land area

..................... .... ............... Acres ..........................................
Lee 643,200 140,800 6,208 496,192 8,832 487,360
Leon 445,440 16,512 3,544 425,384 9,920 415,464
Levy 727,680 34,880 7,845 684,955 3,328 681,627
Liberty 540.800 4.096 730 535,974 535,974
Madison 453,120 3,264 5,430 444,426 1,984 442,442

Manatee 502,400 29,312 7,504 465,584 16,896 448,688
Marion 1,057,280 33,600 6,508 1,017,172 5,312 1,011,860
Martin 372,480 16,640 2,491 353,349 2,176 351,173
Monroe 907,520 245,726 2,000 659,794 2,624 657,170
Nassau 429,440 13,440 3,597 412,403 5,632 406,771

Okaloosa 642,044 37,692 3,476 600,876 15,936 584,940
Okeechobee 499,200 1,920 2,080 495,200 2,496 492,704
Orange 641,920 59,520 6,086 576,314 23,168 553,146
Osceola 938,944 98,624 1,160 839,160 3,776 835,384
Palm Beach 1,649,920 355,200 11,576 1,283,144 52,864 1,230,280

Pasco 494,204 19,580 8,364 466,260 6,144 460,116
Pinellas 197,824 28,416 1,801 167,607 58,240 109,367
Polk 1,310,720 121,600 4,712 1,184,408 39,552 1,144,856
Putnam 562,624 64,256 4,066 494,302 4,096 490,206
St. Johns 422,400 35,392 841 386,167 3,776 382,391

St. Lucie 400,640 27,200 903 372,537 6,528 366,009
Santa Rosa 737,280 76,928 1,199 659,153 896 658,257
Sarasota 396,800 20,928 904 374,968 32,576 342,392
Seminole 225,280 30,144 3,276 191,860 11,968 179,892
Sumter 367,360 12,096 1,664 353,600 1,344 352,256

Suwannee 439,680 768 1,532 437,380 4,288 433,092
Taylor 673,280 896 5,258 667,126 6,080 661,046
Union 156,800 2,560 143 154,097 960 153,137
Volusia 772,480 92,864 4,969 674,647 35,968 638,679
Wakulla 406,400 22,016 1,824 382,560 382,560

Walton 762,400 52,800 1,500 672,100 3,136 668,964
Washington 391,040 16,448 4,746 369,846 1,664 368,182


aThis figure is 26,160 acres above the amount listed by the USDI. It results from a like
reduction in the land area as published by the USDA (10).







Figure 1. Delineation of Areas 1 to 4, for Florida, and percentage distribution
of selected land characteristics by area.


Percentage distribution in square miles of the estimated surface area, inland and
small water areas, land in urban areas, and the rural land area, by forest survey
units, Florida, 1970.


Survey Surface Water Urban Rural
unita area areas land land

...................................... Percent ........ --............. ......

1 20.5 14.4 12.3 21.2
2 26.7 15.8 16.5 28.0
3 29.0 34.3 43.7 28.2
4 23.8 35.5 27.5 22.6


Total

Sq. mi.


100.0

58,560


100.0

4,844


100.0

1,203


100.0

52,513


aThe forest survey units are referred to as Areas 1, 2, 3, and 4 in this report.







heavily forested but are commonly classified as general farming
areas. Area 3 is distinguished by its production of citrus,
extensive livestock farms, resort facilities, and retirement
centers. Area 4 is subtropical and is noted for winter vegetables,
sugar cane, beef cattle, winter resorts, recreational areas,
population concentrations along coastal areas, and a vast primi-
tive swamp and saw grass region known as the "Everglades".
The 58,560 square miles of surface area in the state ranges
in percentage by geographic area from 20.5 to 29.0, the smaller
amount being in Area 1 and the larger in Area 3 (Figure 1). The
water areas of the state consist of several large and many small
rivers and over 30,000 named lakes. Both Areas 3 and 4 contain
double the water areas of either Area 1 or 2, and urban
populations are most heavily concentrated in Areas 3 and 4.
Approximately 56.2 percent of the rural land is located in
Areas 2 and 3, and the remainder in Areas 1 and 4. In all four
areas individual ownership of rural land in holdings of 1,000
acres or over is commonplace, and some single holdings range
upwards to many thousands of acres.

PUBLIC LAND OWNERSHIP
Following the Revolutionary War the federal government
acquired the land rights of the British Crown to much of the
American colonies and became the actual proprietor of a vast
public domain. Other acquisitions of national territory were
obtained by purchases or cessions. The land which is now
Florida was procured in part by the purchase of Louisiana from
France in 1803, and by a treaty with Spain in 1819 whereby
Spain ceded East and West Florida to the United States. This
treaty was ratified in 1821, and Florida obtained statehood in
1845.

Federal Land
In 1970, the federal government and its agencies held
titles to 3,520,455 acres of land in Florida. Some 2,993 acres of
this was listed as being in urban locations, and 32,728 acres
were in unspecified locations associated with the Central
Florida barge canal, the Oklawaha river drainage canals, the
Pensacola-Mobile-inter-coastal waterway, and parts of wildlife
refuges. Federal acreages in identified locations are shown in
Table 2.
The National Park Service had administrative control of
1,483,966 acres in 1969, most of it within the confines of the
Everglades National Park (Tables 3 and 4). The United States







Table 2.- Estimated acreage of rural land in federal, state, semi-public, and other
ownership, Florida, 1970


Rural land inventory in acres
County
Public Semi- Other

Total Federal a State b public ownership


.--...-.----------------.. ---....... Acres
State Total 33,608,538 3,484,734 1,478,089

Alachua 570,616 2,510d 13,496
Baker 372,688 79,371 394
Bay 464,626 30,000 6,340
Bradford 184,162 11,057
Brevard 606,561 100,030 9,723

Broward 718,215 400 353,532
Calhoun 356,673 55
Charlotte 443,268 246 60,945
Citrus 349,555 10,984 47,036
Clay 374,749 85 72,344

Collier (See Monroe County)
Columbia 495,136 78,389 1,898
Dade (See Monroe County)
De Soto 411,483 12 2,820
Dixie 438,567 74 1,130

Duval 459,477 25,204 8,209
Escambia 401,845 9,750 3,127
Flagler 309,475 1,173
Franklin 338,589 21,828 243
Gadsden 319,288 58 3,012

Gilchrist 220,362 441
Glades 481,445 36,859 513
Gulf 352,500 962 1,673
Hamilton 325,669 931
Hardee 399,812 2,870

Hendry 753,568 12 1,188
Hernando 304,527 11,003 34,168
Highlands 620,863 55,040 6,602
Hillsborough 600,537 5,982 5,448
Holmes 305,174 109 236

Indian River 314,049 16 21,391
Jackson 583,286 12,752 7,129
Jefferson 383,280 8,183 217
Lafayette 347,524 24
Lake 581,485 75,013 4,738


182,158 28,463,557

554,610
292,923
428,286
173,105
36,347 460,461

481 363,802
356,618
382,077
291,535
302,320


414,849

408,651
437,363

426,064
388,968
308,302
316,518
316,218

219,921
36,104 407,969
349,865
324,738
396,942

42,728 709,640
259,356
559,221
589,107
304,829

37,246 255,396
563,405
374,880
347,500
501,734


a(5, Table A, except as noted)
b(13)







Table 2. Estimated acreage of rural land in federal, state, semi-public, and other
ownership, Florida, 1970 (Continued)


Rural land inventory in acres

County Public Semi- Other

Total Federal a State b public ownership c

..................----------...-...--... Acres .................--------.....--


Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Madison


487,360
415,464
681,627
535,974
442,442


2,524
103,557

266,887


3,524
1,404
8,463
1,075
123


241


481,053
310,503
673,164
268,012
442,319


Manatee
Marion
Martin
Monroe, Collier
,and Dade
Nassau

Okaloosa
Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach

Pasco
Pinellas
Polk
Putnam
St. Johns

St. Lucie
Santa Rosa
Sarasota
Seminole
Sumter

Suwannee
Taylor
Union
Volusia
Wakulla


448,688
1,011,860
351,173

3,150,269
406,771

584,940
492,704
553,146
835,384
1,230,280

460,116
109,367
1,144,856
490,206
382,391

366,009
658,257
342,392
179,892
352,256

433,092
661,046
153,137
638,679
382,560


Walton 668,964
Washington 368,182


67
268,841
285

1,484,000e


246,068

4,800

6,840


570
27,566
23,727
1,703


70,080
49
1,645



1,201
70
36,000
221,918

151,446


10,322
2,553
10,467

252,798
2,353

62,053
52
2,009
1,229
218,121

7,465
936
1,669
2,480
5,651

2,598
123,350
19,533
2,578
32,070

1,652
281
8,445
4,206
44

1,752
2,730


- 438,299
- 740,466
52 340,369

2,215 1,411,256
- 404,418


23,897
2,847


276,819
492,652
546,337
810,258
1,002,472

452,651
107,861
1,115,621
463,999
375,037

363,411
464,827
322,810
175,669
320,186

431,440
659,564
144,622
598,473
160,598


- 515,766
- 365,452


Concludes county, municipal, and privately owned rural holdings.
d(1)
eThe 1,484,000 federal acreage estimated for Collier, Dade, and Monroe
counties includes the Everglades National Park, the areas for which were not
ascertained by county, the Biscayne and Fort Jefferson National Monuments, and
miscellaneous public holdings.







Table 3.- Federally owned land by administrative agency, 1969


Agency


Total federal land ............. .................

National Park Service
Forest Service
Department of Defense
Air Force (631,870 Acs.)
Navy ( 69,248 Acs.)
Corps of Engineers ( 18,988 Acs.)
Army ( 1,752 Acs.)
Fish and Wildlife Service
National Aeronautics and
Space Administration
Agricultural Research Service
Tennessee Valley Authority
Coast Guard (Department of Transportation)
Federal Aviation Administration
Bureau of Prisons
Veterans Administration
Vacant Public Land
Soil Conservation Service
Atomic Energy Commission
Federal Communications Commission
General Services Administration
Bureau of Facilities (U.S. Postal Service)


Acres Percent
3,520,455 100.0

1,483,966b 42.1
1,080,212 30.7
721,858 20.5



136,140 3.9

83,783 2.4
5,428 0.2
4,797 0.1
1,641 d
658 d
614 d
574 d
367C d
182 d
104 d
69 d
43 d
19 d


a (12, Table 9, except as noted).
b(6)
c(12)
dCumulative value equal to 0.1 percent.


Forest Service was the 'second largest administrator of public
lands in Florida (Table 3). Forest Service areas were located
mainly in the Apalachicola National Forest (Franklin, Leon,
Liberty, and Wakulla counties), the Ocala National Forest
(Lake, Marion and Putnam counties), and the Osceola National
Forest (Baker and Columbia counties). Most of the other
federal lands in the state were in use by and under control of
specific federal agencies. The land administered for defense
purposes in 1969 is an example. The Air Force held 631,870
acres, the Navy 69,248 acres and the Army, 1,752 acres.


State Land
In the course of its history Florida received titles to or
control over its lands by various acts of Congress. In doing so


Federal land







the pre-emption claims of any settler were recognized when
settlement had been made before a survey in the field (2, p. 37).
The rectangular "survey township" of 36 square miles was
early adopted as standard for Florida, although some townships
and ranges are still broken either by irregularly shaped Spanish
grants in parts of eastern and western Florida, or by federal
survey units of varying sizes designated as "lots."
Numerous state agencies hold titles to and control state
lands. The Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund, the
Board of Forestry, the Board of Parks and Historic Memorials,
the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, and the Board of
Commissioners of State Institutions exercise ownership control
to a total of 1,207,172 acres of state land (Table 5). While it is
recognized that the acreages of the state lands exhibited by


Table 4.- Rural land in Florida administered by the National Park Service, USDI,
1971

Non-
Name County Federal Federal Gross

----..................Acres .....--.....
Total a 1,483,966 59,230 1,543,196
Everglades Collier
National Park Dade
Monroe 1,342,516 58,017 1,400,533

Biscayne
National Monument Dade 93,873 1,191 95,064
Fort Jefferson
National Monument Monroe 47,125 47,125
Fort Matanzas
National Monument St. Johns 299 299
Fort Caroline
National Monument Duval 128 128

De Soto
National Monument Manatee 25 5 30

The Mar-A-Lago
National Historic Palm Beach b 17 17
Site

aA 20-acre urban tract of land in St. Johns County- the Castillo de San Marcos
National Monument- is also administered by the National Park Service.
bThe National Park Service cooperates in the operation, protection, and
maintenance of this area.







Table 5.-State owned land by administrative agency, Florida, 1966

Agency Land area

Acres Percent
State land total ........... ............. ............. 1,478,089 100.00

Trustees of Internal Improvement Fund 551,874 37.3
Forest Service 305,959 20.7
Board of Parks and Historic Memorials 127,975 8.7
Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission 116,564 7.9
Board of Commissioners of State Institutions 104,800 7.1
Board of Education 76,436 5.2
Military Department 70,499 4.8
Department of Health and Rehabilitative
Services, Division of Corrections (1971) 36,546a 2.5
Central and Southern Flood Control District 34,959 2.4
Board of Regents 24,455 1.7
Road Board 8,110 0.5
Outdoor Recreational Development Council 4,883 b
Child Training Schools, Division of 3,126 b
Sunland Training Centers, Division of 3,029 b
S. W. Florida Water Management District 1,760 b
Inter-American Center Authority (Interama) 1,750 b
Jacksonville Port Authority 1,290 b
Turnpike Authority 1,133 b
Inland Navigation District 1,109 b
Agriculture Department 455 b
Tuberculosis Board 447 b
Stephen Foster Memorial Commission 237 b
Council for Alcoholic Rehabilitation 225 b
All other 468 b

aln addition to the 36,546 acres reported above for 1971, the Division of
Corrections also held title to 1,562 acres in Decatur County, Georgia, and
used 800 acres of the U. S. Corps of Engineers' land in Highlands and Polk
counties, Florida.
b Cumulative values equal 1.2 percent.

Source: (13).



county are not exclusively rural, other publicly owned rural
land which was not tabulated, such as county and municipal,
offsets any need for correction.
The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund
(TIIF) has the responsibility for the administration, manage-
ment, control, supervision, conservation and protection of all
lands and products thereof owned by the state or which may
hereafter inure to the state, and which are not vested in some
other state agency (8, p. 225). In 1966, the year of the latest
tabulation of state lands available in 1970, the TIIF owned







551,874 acres of land, mostly rural. A major proportion of this,
or 243,020 acres, was located in Broward County, Area 4. Dade
and Palm Beach counties also contained very large TIIF
holdings (142,119 and 130,170 acres, respectively). The
remainder of the TIIF lands were widely distributed in all areas
of Florida.
Areas designated as "Forest Service" lands, the second
largest state ownership category, totaling 305,959 acres, were
located largely in Santa Rosa (122,480 acres), Okaloosa (60,789
acres), Citrus (41,121 acres), Hernando (33,896 acres), and
Sumter counties (31,397 acres). The remaining forest service
acreages ranged from one acre in each of several counties to
7,036 acres in Pasco County.
The Board of Parks and Historic Memorials operated 40
state parks in 1970 with a combined area of approximately
128,000 acres. The largest unit, located in Monroe County,
contained 50,808 acres. Other ownership tracts ranged from
three acres in Baker County to 19,346 acres in Sarasota County.
The land owned by the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
was located almost exclusively within Charlotte and Palm
Beach counties (namely, 60,890 acres and 55,482 acres,
respectively) and that of the Board of Commissioners of State
Institutions largely in Broward County. Other state owned land
ranged in size from 1.2 acres (St. Augustine Historical Preserva-
tion Commission) to 76,436 acres (The Board of Education).


Semi-Public Land
Lands which are neither unconditionally public nor private
were classified as semi-public lands. Two examples follow.
The Seminole Indians in Florida live on three federal
reservations, namely, Big Cypress, Brighton, and Hollywood.
The 79,014 acres of federal land included in these reservations
are located in Broward, Glades, and Hendry counties (Table 6).
This land is held in trust by the United States for the benefit and
use of the Seminoles. Neither the tribe nor an individual of the
tribe may sell or otherwise dispose of any of this land without
the consent of the Secretary of the Interior. The Florida Board
of Commissioners of State Institutions also holds in trust 104,000
acres located in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the use
of the Seminoles.
The Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District
(FCD) administered 970,458 acres of land in 1970, not all of
which was owned by the district. Included under its control
(Table 7) were 375,365 acres of public land, 257,135 acres of






Table 6.- Federal and state trust land, Florida, 1971

Seminole Indian County Trust Land
Reservations

Acres
Grand Total ............... .................................. 183,014
Total federal 79,014
Big Cypress Hendry 42,728
Brighton Glades 35,805
Hollywood Broward 481
Total state 104,000
Florida State Broward 100,160
Florida State Palm Beach 3,840u

aAdministered by the Bureau of Indian affairs, USDI (4).
bEstimated. Includes six sections of land which are held in perpetual trust by
the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions.


privately owned land, and 240,468 acres located in Broward,
Dade, Glades, Lee, Martin, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties
with titles vested in the FCD, a limited amount of which was
held by perpetual lease rather than in fee simple title. The FCD
also owned a portion of the upper St. Johns Project in Brevard,
Indian River and Osceola counties, or a total of 97,490 acres.
However, not all of the lands under FCD control have been
withdrawn from agriculture. The FCD may, and sometimes
does, lease lands to others for agricultural production purposes.


PRIVATE RURAL LAND
The rural land available largely for private use approxi-
mated 27,178,380 acres in 1970 (Table 8). This figure was
derived from the 28,463,560 acres of rural land termed "other
ownership" in Tables 2 and 8 by deleting 841,090 acres of rural
built-up areas (See page iv), 343,030 acres in county roads and
state highways (2, pp. 35-36; 48-49), and 101,050 acres in
railway rights-of-way (2, pp. 56-58), which together totaled
1,285,170 acres. The figure of 27,178,380 acres, while adequate
for the purpose at hand, may be somewhat larger than the true
amount since the correctional data were not updated to 1970,
nor were allowances made for city and county owned rural
land.







Apart from county roads, the bulk of the rural land owned
by most minor civil subdivisions was used fbr public schools,
airports, and similar uses. St. Johns County may be used as a
case example. In 1970, the St. Johns County Board of Public
Instruction possessed 247 acres of rural land, and the county
held title to another 361 acres used for various purposes. The
St. Augustine Airport Authority (municipal airport) owned 250
acres, and collectively the city of St. Augustine Beach and the
town of Hasting owned an additional 137 acres. These and other
like acreages are substantial only in a relative way since some
are accounted for in urban built-up areas and the remainder are
not large enough to compromise the percentages shown in
Tables 8 and 9.

Large-Scale Private Holdings
Large-scale privately owned rural land holdings, which
were aggregate possessions of 1,000 acres or over, appear in
two categories in Table 9. The first relates to large-scale



Table 7.-Acreage distribution of lands contained in the Central and Southern
Florida Flood Control District according to conservation area and
county, 1970

Conservation Area
County Other Total
Area 1 Area 2 Area 3 land

......-----------....- ...... .... Acres ...... ..................

Total 142,005 136,327 588,982 103,144 970,458
Brevard 36,347 36,347
Broward 94,314 377,080 471,394
Dade 211,902 1,528 213,430
Glades 299 299
Indian River 37,246 37,246
Lee 241 241
Martin 52 52
Monroe -- 687 687
Osceola 23,897 23,897
Palm Beach 142,005 42,013 2,847 186,865

aThe acreages shown for Brevard, Indian River, and Osceola counties are
portions of the Upper St. Johns Project, exclusive of any right of way and those for
Glades and Palm Beach counties include lands on Observation, Ritta, Kraemer and
Torry islands owned by the district.
Source: (3)







Table 8.- Estimated acreage of rural land in private ownership, Florida, 1970a


Distribution of acreage by selected category
County
Unclassified Rural Roads and Railway Private
or other built-up highways rights-of- rural
ownership areas, 1967c 1946d way, 1946e land

-------------- Acres .--- .....- ....- ....


28,463,560 841,090


Alachua
Baker
Bay
Bradford
Brevard

Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay

Collier
Columbia
Dade
De Soto
Dixie

Duval
Escambia
Flagler
Franklin
Gadsden

Gilchrist
Glades
Gulf
Hamilton
Hardee

Hendry
Hernando
Highlands
Hillsborough
Holmes

Indian River
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lake


8,040
1,130
14,290
5,410
31,390

14,520
2,690
41,020
5,380
8,240


343,030 101,050 27,178,390

8,300 4,130 534,140
3,390 1,240 287,160
5,180 750 408,070
2,910 1,220 163,560
7,550 1,640 419,880

3,350 490 345,440
3,380 350 350,200
2,230 1,570 337,260
3,610 1,650 280,890
3,350 860 289,870


(See Monroe County)
5,220 6,650
(See Monroe County)


554,610
292,920
428,290
173,100
460,460

363,800
356,620
382,080
291,530
302,320


414,850

408,650
437,360

426,060
388,970
308,300
316,520
316,220

219,920
407,970
349,870
324,740
396,940

709,640
259,360
559,220
589,110
304,830

255,400
563,400
374,880
347,500
501,730


2,660
1,940

8,830
7,410
2,780
1,900
5,270

3,160
2,170
1,900
4,300
4,650

1,470
3,600
3,910
16,040
5,470

2,980
11,830
4,030
2,990
6,920


1,700

1,420
600

2,470
2,280
920
740
1,590

850
1,010
250
1,000
950

600
1,300
1,520
4,700
780

800
1,780
1,150
580
2,930


401,280

403,730
431,500

393,000
347,990
303,780
308,860
306,920

214,950
399,380
346,830
315,160
391,340

705,790
247,940
535,070
555,570
294,850

225,360
540,490
365,640
342,330
484,840


a Includes limited acreages of rural land owned by counties and municipalities.
bSee "Other Ownership" Table 2.


Total


840
3,320

21,760
31,290
820
5,020
2,440

960
5,410
890
4,280


1,780
6,520
18,720
12,800
3,730

26,260
9,300
4,060
1,600
7,040








Table 8.- Estimated acreage of rural land in private ownership, Florida, 1970a (Continued)

Distribution of acreage by selected category
County
Unclassified Rural Roads and Railway Private
or other built-up highways rights-of- rural
ownership areas, 1967c 1946d way, 1946e land

... ................ Acres ......................... ..................


1,860
1,070
1,820
880
1,720

1,550
3,510
1,440


441,030
292,780
665,740
262,380
434,630

409,480
692,180
315,540


3,000 1,236,630
2,590 389,870


Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Madison

Manatee
Marion
Martin
Monroe,
Collier, and
Dade
Nassau

Okaloosa
Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach

Pasco
Pinellas
Polk
Putnam
St. Johns

St. Lucie
Santa Rosa
Sarasota
Seminole
Sumter
Suwannee
Taylor
Union
Volusia
Wakulla

Walton
Washington


481,050
310,500
673,160
268,010
442,320

438,300
740,470
340,370


1,411,260
404,420

276,820
492,650
546,340
810,260
1,002,470

452,650
107,860
1,115,620
464,000
375,040

363,410
464,830
322,810
175,670
320,190
431,440
659,560
144,620
598,470
160,600

515,770
365,450


34,810
10,960

2,230


21,460
34,260
20,540


155,630
8,320


6,390
32,190
15,390
25,540

360
10,990
34,480
8,150
7,980

20,370
8,300
13,850
8,200
2,050
6,890
1,790
3,720
15,380
5,010

16,340
3,340


3,350
5,690
5,600
2,520
5,970

5,810
10,520
2,850


16,000
3,640

5,640
1,790
7,440
4,670
5,350

7,590
4,100
14,530
5,710
5,020

2,770
8,380
3,210
3,690
3,480
7,390
3,440
2,570
11,080
3,240

8,060
5,820


270,080
482,920
504,300
788,650
969,520

441,980
91,730
1,060,860
447,880
360,830

339,840
447,540
304,620
162,000
312,880

415,290
652,540
137,510
569,160
152,120


580 490,790
270 356,020


1,100
1,550
2,410
1,550
2,060

2,720
1,040
5,750
2,260
1,210

430
610
1,130
1,780
1,780
1,870
1,790
820
2,850
230


c(5, Table A, Urban Built-up, less land classified as urban, this report Table 1).
d(2, pp. 35-36, 48-49).
e(2, pp. 56-58).







Table 9.-The estimated acreage of rural land in private ownership, the number
of large-scale owners, and the estimated. percentage of total private land
in individual ownerships of 1,000 acres and over by county, Florida, 1970.

Rural land in private ownership
County
Total Holdings of 1,000 acres and over


Number


Acres


State Total
Alachua
Baker
Bay
Bradford
Brevard

Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay

Collier
Columbia
Dade
De Soto
Dixie

Duval
Escambia
Flagler
Franklin
Gadsden

Gilchrist
Glades
Gulf
Hamilton
Hardee

Hendry
Hernando
Highlands
Hillsborough
Holmes

Indian River
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lake


Percent

56.0
47.9
79.2
80.2
19.8
49.3

9.3
69.7
35.4
28.1
72.1


Acres

27,178,390
534,140
287,160
408,070
163,560
419,880

345,440
350,200
337,260
280,890
289,870


401,280

403,730
431,500

393,000
347,990
303,780
308,860
306,920

214,950
399,380
346,830
315,160
391,340

705,790
247,940
535,070
555,570
294,850

225,360
540,490
365,640
342,330
484,840


2,329b 15,224,190
71 255,830
13 227,370
28 327,460
17 83,240
31 206,850c

14 32,250c
24 244,090
10 119,540
18 78,870c
27 209,070

(See Monroe County)
35 202,310
(See Monroe County)
44 211,610
4 296,200

29 132,160
16 168,810
26 263,870
11 256,170
23 136,620

18 91,280
38 387,060
12 321,600
29 186,160
66 291,890c

61 586,780
14 43,040C
77 473,210c
69 205,510c
22 83,520

22 152,310c
47 145,790
46 233,000
15 228,870
71 220,670c


aAll numbers have been rounded to the nearest zero for ease in reading.
bThe numbers shown relate to owners per county, but cannot be summed to
secure a total because many owners possessed land in more than one county.








Table 9. The estimated acreage of rural land in private ownership, the number
of large-scale owners, and the estimated percentage of total private land
in individual ownerships of 1,000 acres and over by county, Florida, 1970.
(Continued)
Rural land in private ownership.a
County
Total Holdings of 1,000 acres and over


Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Madison

Manatee
Marion
Martin
Monroe, Collier
and Dade
Nassau

Okaloosa
Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach

Pasco
Pinellas
Polk
Putnam
St. Johns

St. Lucie
Santa Rosa
Sarasota
Seminole
Sumter

Suwanne
Taylor
Union
Volusia
Wakulla

Walton
Washington


Acres


Acres


Percent


441,030
292,780
665,740
262,380
434,630

409,480
692,180
315,540

1,236,630
389,870

270,080
482,920
504,300
788,650
969,520

441,980
91,730
1,060,860
447,880
360,830

339,840
447,540
304,620
162,000
312,880

415,290
652,540
137,510
569,160
152,120

490,790
356,020


Number

25
34
51
18
38

70
54
52

41
35

32
60
47
62
62

58
4
148
21
39

51
28
18
16
34

30
21
17
38
12

38
27


134,220
186,800
467,960
194,400
217,560

259,580c
209,380
205,000

485,420
241,590

99,660
390,490c
157,510c
830,140c
332,210

241,880c
5,780 c
645,520c
266,600
249,280

275,230c
218,070
129,920c
38,850 c
119,830c

84,920
573,080
95,300
286,450
72,730

228,190
177,630


30.4
63.8
70.3
74.1
50.1

63.4
30.2
65.0

39.3
62.0

36.9
80.9
31.2
105.3
34.3

54.7
6.3
60.8
59.5
69.1

81.0
48.7
42.6
24.0
38.3

20.4
87.8
69.3
50.3
47.8

46.5
49.9


CFarms of 1,000 acres and over under the control of an individual
management in 1969. All acreages have been credited to the county wherein the
home farm was located. Thus the acreages credited to each county are not
necessarily absolute.






ownerships derived from searches of county tax assessment
rolls, and the second from published secondary data which
appertain only to large-scale farm operations (10). The first
category generally applies to data applicable to the counties
within geographical Areas 1, 2, and 4 of the state and the second
to Area 3 (Figure 1). The holdings totaled 10,213,460 acres in
the first category, and 5,010,940 acres in the second, which
together yielded a grand total of 15,224,190 acres (Table 9).
Some proprietors owned extremely large rural land
acreages.3 The range was from 1,000 to over 950,000 acres.
Tenure jurisdiction of the average large-scale owner exceeded
14.7 square miles; that of the largest owner approximated
1,490 square miles. Lands in large-scale ownership were most
heavily concentrated in the forested regions of northern
Florida, and in the citrus and livestock areas of Central Florida
(Figure 2).
The 34,586 farmers in Florida in 1969 reported a total of
14,031,998 acres in farms (10), or 51.6 percent of the 27,178,390
acres of privately owned rural land. Cropland under cultivation
totaled 3,744,119 acres of which 2,234,036 acres were harvested.
Cropland not harvested was used mainly for pastures. In
addition, 3,814,187 acres were reported as farm woodland and
6,443,692 acres as land in other uses, such as pastureland other
than cropland, rangeland, waste lands, building lots, and
similar uses. Farms of 1,000 acres and over identified by
county totaled 1,981 with a combined land area of 9,874,526
acres.
Complete or partial identification of large-scale rural land
owners was achieved for all counties in Areas 1, 2, and 4,
except for Broward County. In addition, tentative reviews
were made of county tax rolls in Citrus and Lake counties,
which provided a sampling of situations in Central Florida.
Altogether 1,110 owners against whom property taxes were
assessed, and who held at least 10,472,540 acres were identified
(Table 10). More than half the land in large-scale tenancy, or
5,869,290 acres, consisted of holdings of 50,000 acres and over,
all in the possession of 27 freeholders largely of corporate
structure. Another 221 proprietors, with a range in ownership
from 5,000 to 49,999 acres, possessed an additional 2,827,670
acres. The average size of an individual ownership in each of
these two size classes was 217,380 acres and 12,795 acres,


3The term owner as used in this report is based upon the name of the person
or other holder against whom taxes were assessed. Certain of the lands so
assessed may have been leased from others.













UP TO 25
26 TO 50
51 TO 75
76 AND OVER


-'00W 0


Figure 2.- Percentage of privately owned rural land held in individual ownerships
of 1,000 acres and over in each county, Florida, 1970.


respectively. Many such owners possessed land in more than
one county or in more than one area of the state. Thus a
tabulation of owners as listed by county in Table 9 would yield
an incorrect total.

Absentee Owners
The total rural land acreage in the possession of out-of-state
owners for whom either partial or complete land ownership
information was secured amounted to 1,330,000 acres. The
owners of nearly half this acreage gave addresses in the South
Atlantic Region to which tax notices were transmitted. Actually,
the addresses of absentee owners on county tax rolls provide
only a clue to the number and location of absentee owners, and
to the rural acreages they control.
Of the 10,472,540 acres of land estimated to be owned or
controlled by the 1,110 private holders (Table 10) tax assess-






Table 10.- Estimated rural land holdings of 1,000 acres and over per owner and
the number of owners according to size of holdings, 48 counties, Florida,
1970a

Size of holdings Land owners Acreage
in acres assessed

Number Percent Acres Percent
Tote 1,110 100.0 10,472,540 100.0
1,000 to 2,499 632 57.0 970,430 9.3
2,500 to 4,999 230 20.7 805,150 7.7
5,000 to 9,999 132 11.9 909,270 8.7
10,000 to 24,999 62 5.6 953,090 9.1
25,000 to 49,999 27 2.4 965,310 9.2
50,000 and over 27 2.4 5,869,290 56.0

alncludes the 37 counties of northern Florida, 2-of central Florida, and 9 of
southern Florida.


ments on 36.4 percent of it were remitted to in-county
addresses, on 50.9 percent to places in other Florida counties
and the remaining 12.7 percent, to out-of-state locations. Even
this fails to provide a clear picture of the real situation. Twelve
of the larger owners controlled by deed or lease with responsi-
bility for tax payment a total of at least 4,300,000 acres. If
corporate organization, land-use policy-making, central financ-
ing and administration were taken as criteria for locational
identification, these 12 could be adjudged as absentee owners,
even though they carry Florida addresses on various county tax
rolls.

AREA COMPARISONS
The four geographical areas of Florida (Figure 1) vary
climatically. Agriculture and forestry enterprises also differ,
especially as Areas 1 and 2 differ from Areas 3 and 4. Recent
estimates indicate that over three-fourths of all the rural land,
both public and private, in Area 1 is forested (5, p. 11, and 10,
p. 1), of which half a million acres show evidence of artificial
reforestation (7, p. 1). A similar situation holds for Area 2,
where nearly 80 percent of the rural land is forested (7,
Table B). Pastures and ranges combined occupy comparatively
small percentages of land in Areas 1 and 2, or 9.3 and 4.7
percent, respectively (Table 11). In Area 3, however, land in
pastures and ranges is 27.8 of the total, and in Area 4
18.7 percent. Forests, pastures, and ranges account for much of








the privately owned large-scale rural land holdings in Florida,
but some cropland, recreational and residential tracts are also
owned in substantial amounts.
Approximately, 8,440,000 acres of privately owned rural
land are located in both Area 2 and Area 3, 5,542,000 acres in
Area 1, and 4,751,000 acres.in Area 4. In general, the percentage
distribution by area of all privately owned rural land
approximates the percentage distribution of large-scale hold-
ings (Table 12). The extent of large-scale land ownership, as it
appears from the data synthesized, varies from county to
county.

Table 11.--Percentage distribution of rural land irrespective of ownership by
selected categories of land use, Florida, 1967


..---..- -....--- ...--- ..--- .---. Percent ... ..............-.

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


Cropland
Pasture
Range
Forest
Other

Acres (millions)a
Acres (millions)a


12.8
9.4
6.5
63.0
8.3

30.0


10.9
7.8
1.5
76.7
3.1


13.2
4.6
0.1
79.8
2.3


12.0 16.1
15.0 8.3
12.8 10.4
53.5 42.5
6.7 22.7
- -- - - - - - - -


87 5.9 9.0 6.4


a(Derived from 3, Table B).


Table 12.- Estimated total rural land in private ownership and in holdings of
1,000 acres and over, by area, Florida, 1970a


Area Total rural land Private holdings of
privately owned 1,000 acres and over

Acres Percent Acres Percent

State 27,178,390 100.0 15,224,190 100.0

Area 1 5,541,560 20.4 3,094,540 20.3
Area 2 8,442,360 31.0 4,868,480 32.0
Area 3 8,443,880 31.1 4,978,690 32.7
Area 4 4,750,590 17.5 2,282,480 15.0

aThe private holdings shown for Area 3 apply only to agricultural units of
1,000 acres and over. They do not include large-scale non-farm ownerships.







Area 1
Area 1 contains the 16 northwestern counties of Florida,
being bordered by the Aucilla river on the east and the state of
Alabama on the west. Although Area 1 is regarded as a general
farming area, it is likewise a region in which the forest industry
has heavy investments. About 2.0 million acres of the 4.5 million
acres of commercial forests in Area 1 which are privately owned
are held by the forest industry (7, p. 1). The largest percentage
of the 3,094,540 acres tabulated for the area (Table 13), or
nearly 78 percent, was in aggregate holdings of 10,000 acres
and over per owner, and most of it was in forest industry control.


Table 13.-Acreage distribution of large-scale privately owned land by county
according to the size-of-holding classification of owner, Area 1, Florida,
1970a

Size classes of private land holdings
1,000 2,500 10,000 50,000
County to to to
2,499 9,999 49,999 and over Total

...................................... Acres .......................................
Total 283,650 404,900 442,720 1,963,270 3,094,540

Bay 6,940 4,500 9,100 306,920 327,460

Calhoun 20,000 11,960 25,580 186,550 244,090
Escambia 7,740 25,570 57,630 77,870 168,810
Franklin 7,010 14,560 234,600 256,170
Gadsden 16,110 21,840 45,410 53,260 136,620
Gulf 1,680 12,120 17,890 289,910 321,600

Holmes 13,070 25,990 17,730 26,730 83,520
Jackson 42,640 28,510 25,950 48,690 145,790
Jefferson 26,920 70,860 12,070 123,150 233,000
Leon 26,900 62,890 40,510 56,500 186,800
Liberty 14,090 8,970 80 171,260 194,400

Okaloosa 27,530 23,230 26,840 22,060 99,660
Santa Rosa 23,690 30,380 32,060 131,940 218,070
Wakulla 7,060 6,550 11,350 47,770 72,730
Walton 29,900 44,520 51,560 102,210 228,190
Washington 12,370 12,450 68,960 83,850 177,630

aSome owners, especially those with title to 10,000 acres or over, own land
in more than one county, but the amount owned in any given county may be quite
limited. The 80 acres shown for Liberty County in the 10,000 to 49,999-acre
classification is an example. This explanation also applies to Tables 14 and 16.







Figure 3 is an exhibit of the concentration of ownership of
large holdings in Area 1 by a comparatively few owners. The
conservation of forests is one characteristic of the counties
shown. Gradations in the qualities of land also affect its pro-
ductive uses. The northern part of the 8-county area shown is
better suited to agriculture than the southern townships; where
agriculture prevails, the acreages in large-scale ownership are
far less centralized. In 1969, a total of 201 large-scale farms
were reported for the area with a combined area of 561,246
acres.4
Area 2
In 1969, there were 464 farms with 1,000 or more acres for
a total of 1,981,956 acres. The acreage of all aggregate rural
holdings of 1,000 acres and over per owner fell chiefly in the
10,000-acre and over range (Table 14), or 76.9 percent of the
total.
Two coastal counties Dixie and Taylor are outstanding
examples of the concentration of large-scale ownership in some
counties. In Dixie County four absentee owners in 1971 held
titles to 296,200 acres, or 68.6 percent of the estimated 431,500
acres of all rural land privately owned therein (Table 9).
Similarly, in Taylor County 21 owners possessed 573,080 acres
of the 652,540-acre total, or 87.8 percent. The net result is that
in situations such as in Taylor County, the small-scale operators
of farms and forests have limited holdings scattered over great
distances (Figure 4).
Area 3
Because of circumstances previously referred to (page 3),
county tax roll data were not secured from the 20 counties in
Area 3. Acreage data for farms of 1,000 acres and over were
substituted (Table 15). In 1969, there were 980 farms of 1,000
acres and over comprising a total of 4,978,690 acres. Of this
amount 4,377,140 acres (87.9 percent) were held by 542 farmers
(55.3 percent), and 601,560 acres (12.1 percent) by 438 farmers
(44.7 percent).
Because of the substitution of census data for tax roll
information it was not possible either to aggregate the acreage
of rural land in the possession of any one owner or to assess the
magnitude of large-scale ownership in the area. However, the
general impression gained from a sampling of two counties was
that population and economic pressures constantly produce

4Excludes Franklin County for which 1969 agricultural census data were
not available.









CALHOUN LEON



LIBERTY

GULF1R// 76 to100
FRANKLIN 51 to 75
-!. ,o 1 26 to 50
,,ok! .tii ii up to 25
G4\ i Federal Land
Figures 3. Exhibit of the estimated density of large-scale privately owned and federal rural land in an 8-county area of northwestern Florida.
Each square represents approximately 23,040 acres, but the boundaries of cadastral surveys in parts of the area are, in actuality, very
irregular.







Table 14.-Acreage distribution of large-scale privately owned land by county
according to the size-of-holding classification of owner, Area 2, Florida,
1970 a

Size classes of private land holdings

1,000 2,500 10,000 50,000
County to to to
2,499 9,999 49,999 and over Total


Total

Alachua

Baker
Bradford
Clay
Columbia
Dixie

Duval
Flagler
Gilchrist
Hamilton
Lafayette

Levy
Madison
Marion
Nassau
Putnam

St. Johns
Suwannee
Taylor
Union
Volusia


----....--.-.... --....-- ---.. --.....-- Acres ............................-.. -

402,080 720,770 834,950 2,910,680 4,868,480

68,340 41,950 24,700 120,840 255,830


1,770
8,230
10,530
27,740


18,830
9,240
11,260
20,370
6,910

24,000
31,560
45,400
27,740
6,100

23,450
17,880
7,400
16,260
19,070


5,340
5,310
61,040
9,710
6,200

35,670
65,150
17,170
24,130
11,910

86,150
24,150
42,800
33,110
53,500

58,790
34,720
37,890
2,640
63,440


76,960
10
53,580
40,510


10,220
43,490
14,400
48,710
34,560

64,610

84,510
13,700
89,000

64,500
6,200
34,400

130,890


143,300
69,690
83,920
124,350
290,000

67,440
145,990
48,450
92,950
175,490

293,200
161,850
36,670
167,040
118,000

102,540
26,120
493,390
76,400
73,050


227,370
83,240
209,070
202,310
296,200

132,160
263,870
91,280
186,160
228,870

467,960
217,560
209,380
241,590
266,600

249,280
84,920
573,080
95,300
286,450


aSee footnote, Table 13.



fluidity in land ownership. In 1970 large acreages of rural land
were being converted into rural residential developments, as
were some citrus groves. Recreational and tourist attractions
also occupied large acreages.

Area 4

Approximately 69 percent, or 1,552,170 acres, of the
2,250,230 acres of large-scale rural ownership records obtained
from county tax rolls in Area 4 were in holdings of 10,000 acres
or over (Table 16). In contrast, in Dade county where the






























TAYLOR COUNTY
FLORIDA


Figure 4. Location of privately owned large-scale rural land holdings designated
by diagonal lines; dispersed small holdings by black areas; Perry, the
county seat, as named; and the fringe area surrounding the county seat
as outlined.



residential requirements for land are pressing, only 79,310
rural acres were in holdings of 1,000 acres and over in 1971, as
reported by the county tax assessor's office. The impact of rapid
population growth in Area 4, both along the Atlantic Ocean and
the Gulf of Mexico, is constantly pressing toward a reduction
in large-scale ownership of lands which are accessible to and
available for urban development.
The 10 counties of Area 4 are low-lying lands with varying
degrees of suitability for agricultural development. Large
sections are in swamp and overflowed lands requiring drainage
(Table 7), and much of the wet areas are covered by saw grass.







Commercial use of agricultural land is devoted largely to the
production of winter vegetables, sugar cane, and beef cattle.
Altogether 336 farms of 1,000 acres and over reported for Area 4
in 1969 contained 2,352,624 acres, but data were unavailable for
Monroe County, as it had been for Franklin County (Area 1).
Here also is the Everglades National Park with a 1,400,533 gross
acreage (Table 4).
Resume

According to the findings of this study, less than 2,100
owners (Tables 10 and 15) held ownership control over
15,224,190 acres of the 27,178,390 acres estimated to be in
private ownership in Florida in 1970. The residual, or 11,954,200



Table 15. Number of farms and land in farms by county for farms of 1,000 acres
and over, Area 3, Florida, 1969


No. Acres No. Acres No. Acres


438 601,560 542 4,377,130


19,240
9,690
27,980
55,270
10,380

43,400
55,150
10,830
51,240
43,400

28,520
25,950
26,320
34,710
3,300

83,950
24,460
1,130a
13,980
32,670


187,610
69,180
183,630
236,620
32,650

429,810
150,370
141,490
169,430
216,180

361,970
131,570
803,810
207,160
2,480a

561,570
250,780
128,790
24,870
87,160


980 4,978,690

31 206,850
18 78,870
44 211,610
66 291,890
14 43,040

77 473,210
69 205,510
22 152,310
71 220,670
70 259,580

60 390,490
47 157,510
62 830,140
58 241,880
4 5,780

148 645,520
51 275,230
18 129,920
16 38,850
34 119,830


aEstimated from published data (10).


Brevard
Citrus
De Soto
Hardee
Hernando

Highlands
Hillsborough
Indian River
Lake
Manatee

Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Pasco
Pinellas

Polk
St. Lucie
Sarasota
Seminole
Sumter






Table 16.-Acreage distribution of large-scale privately owned land by county
according to the size-of-holding classification of owner, Area 4, Florida,
1970a

Size classes of private land holdings

1,000 2,500 10,000 50,000
County to to to
2,499 49,999 and over Total

-.....--...---... --.........-......... .. Acres..........................
Total 207,690 490,370 577,570 974,600 2,250,230
Broward b
Charlotte 8,600 20,410 10,670 79,860 119,540
Collier 1,510 30,160 62,750 273,450 367,870
Dade 2,740 16,840 59,730 79,310
Glades 35,360 52,890 22,840 275,970 387,060
Hendry 27,620 111,980 216,460 230,720 586,780
Lee 17,460 49,910 31,600 35,250 134,220
Martin 45,600 106,540 52,860 205,000
Monroe 16,570 11,300 10,370 38,240
Palm Beach 52,230 90,340 110,290 79,350 332,210

aSee footnote, Table 13.
bNo land ownership information was secured for Broward County. The
U. S. 1969 Census of Agriculture listed 32,250 acres in 14 farms of 1,000 acres
or over in the county.


acres, was the amount available to all other users. The official
rural population of Florida in 1970 numbered 1,321,306
(11, Table 1). Although no information was then available
regarding the demand for rural land generated by this popula-
tion, the per capital average of the 11,954,200-acre residual was,
at best, extremely limited.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Summary
1. The surface area of Florida in 1970 contained an
estimated 58,560 square miles, or 37,478,840 acres. Of this total,
3,100,190 acres were classified as inland and small water areas,
and 770,112 acres as urbanized. The remainder, or 33,608,538
acres, was the rural land area as used in this report.
2. Approximately 15.3 percent of the rural land was
publicly owned, exclusive of lands in roads, highways, and
similar uses. Of the 33,608,538-acre rural area, the federal






government owned 3,484,734 acres, the state 1,478,089 acres,
and federal trust and public flood control lands totaled
182,158 acres; leaving a residual of 28,463,557 acres.
3. Approximately 27,178,390 acres of rural land, or around
81.0 percent of the rural land area, was estimated to be privately
owned. The balance of the rural land area considered in this
report consisted of 841,090 acres in rural built-up areas, or
2.5 percent of the total, 343,090 acres in roads and highways,
or 1.0 percent, and 101,050 acres in railway rights-of-way, or
0.3 percent.
4. A total of 56.0 percent, or 15,224,190 acres of the
27,178,390 acres of privately owned rural land, consisted of
large-scale ownerships, that is, aggregate individual holdings
of 1,000 acres and over. These ownerships ranged from 1,000 to
over 950,000 acres.
5.Considerably less than 12 million acres of rural land
privately owned remained after deleting the 15,224,190 acres of
large-scale holdings from the 27,178,390-acre total. In general,
this represented the acreage available in 1970 for use by the
majority of Florida's 1,321,306 rural inhabitants.

Conclusions
A central conclusion reached from this project is that the
economic significance of large-scale privately owned rural land
merits examination by means of an in-depth study. Although
this study was an impartial inquiry into the situation in Florida,
it was apparent that segments of the public harbor some
sensitivity concerning huge concentrations of land ownership.
At the moment it is difficult to establish whether integrated
enterprises, which control vast acreages of land, generate or
impede rural area development.
The conditions which are conducive to rural area and
regional economic growth may differ significantly from county
to county, or between parts of the nation. Some of the factors
affecting area development are the types and quality of soils in
given locations as they relate to the highest and best uses that
can be made of the land therein because of their distribution,
rainfall, climatic conditions, and nonfarm employment oppor-
tunities. Some lands are potentially arable and others are not,
and not all areas are uniquely situated for industrialization.
Whatever the economic advantages or disadvantages of the
existing large-scale rural land ownership development in
Florida, its costs and benefits to society should be reasonably







well understood by action-oriented persons. Perhaps under
circumstances where extensive uses of land appear to be the
most practical, rural area development projects should be
regional rather than local in design. However, the problems at
issue are not wholly rural because of the many land needs of
Florida's rapidly increasing urban population. Essentially, the
main issue to be resolved by public officials and others is how
well agricultural and other requirements for land are kept in
balance in ways which enhance the public welfare.




NOTES AND REFERENCES
(1) Alachua County Tax Assessor. Computer printout of 1970 tax roll.
(2) Alleger, Daniel E. and Max M. Tharp. Rural Land Ownership in Florida
Univ. of Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 460. Gainesville: June 1949.
(3) Braun, Jack W. (Deputy Director, Department of Real Estate, Central and
Southern Florida Flood Control District, West Palm Beach, Florida).
Letter of October 26, 1971.
(4) Davis, Robert (Bureau of Indian Affairs, U. S. Department of the Interior,
Hollywood, Florida). Contribution, September 1971.
(5) Florida. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Conservation
Needs Inventory. Tallahassee: 1970.
(6) Hadley, Lawrence C. (Assistant Director, National Park Service, U. S.
Department of the Interior, Washington). Contribution, September 14,
1971.
(7) Knight, Herbert A. Forest Statistics for Northwest Florida, 1969. U. S. Dept.
of Agriculture Forest Service Resource Bulletin SE-14. Asheville, N. C.:
Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, June 1969.
(8) Morris, Allen. The Florida Handbook, 1969-1970. Tallahassee: The Penin-
sular Publishing Company, 1969, p. 546.
(9) U. S. Bureau of the Census. Area Measurement Reports Areas of Florida:
1960. Report GE 20, No. 11. Washington: U. S. Government Printing
Office, December 1965.
(10) U. S. Bureau of the Census. Census of Agriculture, 1969, Vol. 1. Area
Reports. Part 29. Florida. Sec. 2. County Data. Washington: U. S.
Government Printing Office, 1972. (County data provided except for
Franklin and Monroe Counties, the land areas for which were calculated
from data in (9).
(11) U. S. Bureau of the Census. 1970 Census of Population. Number of
Inhabitants-Final Report PC(1)-A 11, Florida. Washington: U. S.
Government Printing Office, 1972.
(12) U. S. Bureau of Land Management. Public Land Statistics, 1970. Washing-
ton: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1971. (Compliments of Elmer
F. Graham, Chief, Division of Records Systems.)
(13) Williams, James T. (Director, Land Records Division, Board of Trustees
of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, Tallahassee). Contribution,
September 20, 1971.












ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author herewith extends a note of thanks to the many
county tax assessors and others who willingly cooperated in the
conduct of this study. Especial mention is given to the tax
assessors of Alachua, Dade, Dixie, Duval and Taylor counties
who voluntarily contributed the data required, and to state
foresters in Duval, Jackson, Marion and Putnam counties for
their assistance. For providing data under circumstances which
would have been difficult for the field workers a note of
appreciation is given to Mrs. Joyce D. Johnson of Gulf County,
Buddy Holmes of Leon County, Mrs. Margaret Geiger of
St. Johns County, and Mrs. Catherine Redding of Taylor County.
The names of some other persons who also provided informa-
tion appear under NOTES AND REFERENCES. For assistance
in securing data in South Florida thanks are hereby extended to
Lisandro O. Perez, a graduate student in sociology, and for
guidance and encouragement to Dr. K. R. Tefertiller, then
Chairman, Food and Resource Economics Department, now
Vice-President for Agricultural Affairs, University of Florida.









HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






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