Front Cover
 Front Matter
 What the committee has done to...
 Does Florida have a Recreational...
 What can be done about the...
 Tabulation of Public Lands Owned...

Title: Interim report of the Governor's committee on recreational development
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072549/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interim report of the Governor's committee on recreational development
Physical Description: 20 p. : ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Governor's Committee on Recreational Development
Publisher: The Committee
Place of Publication: Tallahassee FL
Publication Date: 1962
Subject: Public lands -- Recreational use -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Conservation of natural resources -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: "February 4, 1962."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072549
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 41931479


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    What the committee has done to date
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Does Florida have a Recreational Problem?
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    What can be done about the problem?
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Tabulation of Public Lands Owned by the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund and State Board of Education
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
Full Text


Honorable Farris Bryant
Governor of Florida




William R. Kidd, Chief Engineer
Trustees, Internal Improvement Fund

Wendell Jarrard, Chairman-Director
Florida Development Commission

Randolph Hodges, Director
Board of Conservation

A. D. Aldrich, Director
Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission

C. H. Coulter
State Forester

Walter Coldwell, Director
Florida Park Service

Van H. Ferguson, Director
Trustees, Internal Improvement Fund

Robert 0. Vernon, Director
Florida Geological Survey
Board of Conservation

James T. Williams
Land Office
Department of Agriculture

Roy Brooks, Assistant Director
Florida Park Service

John Wakefield, Director
Division of Water Resources
Board of Conservation

Martin Gainer, Manager
Planning Department
Florida Development Commission

H. .EWalace, Chief, Management Div.
Gane & Fresh Water Fish Commission

James H. Sayes, Manager
Recreational Department
Florida Development Commission

Mrs. Margie McCollum
Secretary to the Committee

February 2, 1962

Honorable Farris Bryant
Governor of the State of Florida
Capitol Building
Tallahassee, Florida

Dear Governor Bryant:

Pursuant to your instructions your Committee on Recrea-
tional Development has prepared an "Interim Report" which
is transmitted herewith. Much of the data collected and the
studies made have been withheld from the report since it
was not deemed necessary to prepare a voluminous document
but rather to condense our report into a recommended course
of action.

Time and space do not permit us to acknowledge all of
the agencies, both public and private, which have so gener-
ously assisted the Committee from time to time. Suffice to
say, they have made a material contribution to this report.

We are appreciative of the thousands of man hours which
the field personnel of the various conservation agencies
have contributed in making field surveys and in inventorying
lands. Many of these people have worked overtime, without
compensation, in an effort to provide us with the required
data. Their enthusiasm and devotion to duty have served to
encourage your Committee to redouble its efforts to produce
a program which will meet the demands of an ever changing

Respectfully submitted,

__6?- C ^2

William R. Kidd, Chairman
Recreational Development Committee


Management of Florida's natural resources is a function
and responsibility of government. There is among the people
of Florida a growing awareness of the urgent need for a re-
valuation of our conservation effort. To fulfill this mandate
from the people, Governor Bryant last April appointed a com-
mittee of active agency and departmental directors to study
the problem of maximum utilization of State owned lands. In
his instructions to the Committee the Governor requested
that he be furnished an interim report from the Committee by
the end of 1961.

S It must be emphasized that this report is initial in
nature and that the Committee's job is far from completed.
Good land management requires constant restudy in order to
adapt plans to meet current requirements.

Florida's rapidly expanding population and industrial
development place a severe burden on the planner. What was
an appropriate solution to yesterday's problem no longer
serves and new techniques are required to meet the ever
changing and increasing demands of Floridians and visitors
for more and better outdoor recreational facilities.

Florida has been fortunate in securing for its conserva-
tion agencies technicians and administrators of skill and
high quality and has on hand individuals whose abilities
well qualify them to plan for the future needs in the conser-
vation field. This Committee believes that the interest of
the Chief Executive in the conservation and recreation
needs of the State will permit the laying of the necessary
foundations today for a well planned Recreational Develop-
ment Program in the years ahead.

Although the planning can be accomplished now, a
program of this magnitude cannot be implemented in a few
short years. Succeeding generations must be made aware that
the heritage of the great outdoors should be protected and


The history of Florida's resource management practices
can be broken down into three general periods': Prior to 1900;
1901 to 1960; and, 1961.

Prior to 1900
Florida's first experience in resource management was
acquired in the disposition of the lands granted to the State
by the Federal Government. Jurisdiction over these lands
was granted by the Legislature to the Trustees of the In-
ternal Improvement Fund, composed of the Governor, Attorney
General, Comptroller, Treasurer and Commissioner of Agri-
Inexact surveys, faulty deeds and an inability to con-
duct personal inspections because of the largely uninhabited
nature of the land resulted at one time in the sale or pledg-
ing by the Trustees of more lands than were owned by the
State. On other occasions lands were sold for script which
was issued by the purchaser with no collateral other than the
land itself. The days of the Carpetbagger Trusteeship were
hardly conducive to good business practice, let alone con-
However, our predecessors could not conceive of the
needs which have arisen. Florida's natural resources per
capital were so great that in some instances they were a
nuisance. Forests were wantonly burned to clear land for

agriculture. Drainage canals were constructed which wasted
water to the sea with no thought as to the consequences.
The little corrective legislation that was enacted to preserve
and protect natural resources was so poorly implemented as
to be virtually worthless. Fortunately for posterity much of
the natural wealth which was wasted is replaceable, al-
though sometimes at great expense.

1901 1960
At the turn of the century the dangers inherent in the
wasting of resources and poor land management practices
became apparent. Slowly at first and more rapidly in later
years, active and progressive steps were taken to correct
past mistakes. Agencies were created for specific purposes.
All of these organizations were characterized by narrow
lines of authority.

It was during this period that most of the major conser-
vation groups emerged. The Forest Service was created in
1928 and by 1961 the wasteful burning on 85% of the forest
lands had been reduced to a fraction of 1% annually. Out of
the Forest Service grew the present Board of Parks and
Historic Memorials. Early efforts to discover and catalog mineral
resources were undertaken by the Geological Survey. Flood control
and water management became synonymous. The Agricultural Ex-
tension Service and the Agricultural Experiment Stations promoted
improved land use practices. By 1943 sportsmen's groups had suc-
ceeded in obtaining for the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commis-
sion constitutional status. The State Board of Health began to
exercise some control over lake and stream pollution. The Salt
Water Fisheries came under the jurisdiction of the Board of Con-
servation as did the new Department of Water Resources.

Thus the natural resources slowly came under the man-

agement of various agencies which were charged with solv-
ing particular problems and operating in given areas.

In 1953 Hubert Marshall and Robert J. Young of the
University of Florida had this to say about Florida's con-
servation effort:

Florida's administrative structure for resources con-
servation shows a total lack of integration. Fully 14
separate and independent agencies exercise some juris-
diction over the state's natural resources. In maintaining
this kind of administrative organization, Florida has
failed to heed the experience of a majority of the states
which have adopted consolidated departments of conser-
vation after many years of experimentation with unsatis-
factory method of trying- to manage their natural re-
sources with a large number of separate and semi-
autonomous agencies.


That Florida's governors have evidenced little interest
in conservation matters is indicated by the infrequent
references to natural resources, other than climate, in
their speeches and by the absence of work in this field
by the State Improvement Commission, chaired by the
Governor. Further evidence is the fact that only one
Governor in recent years has seen fit to appoint and
support a commission for the study of resource programs
and policies, and then only in a single field.

The operating resource agencies of the State, being
largely independent of each other and of the Governor,
have naturally evolved no formal mechanism for the
solution of inter-agency problems. Nor have they been
able to generate that strength in unity which might have
made the state more conscious of the problems and

needs of effective resource management. Only the fact
that able and conscientious men have guided the op-
erating agencies has enabled the state to make the real
progress which has characterized the last few years.

The Governor's Committee on Recreational Development
early in its studies came to the conclusion that good re-
source management must be predicated on the Multiple Inter-
relationship Concept. Nature is a unity. We cannot separate
the fish from the water nor the trees from the soil. Bureau-
cratic definition of various phases of natural phenomenon
which breaks down into a neat pattern of departments and
agencies fails because it does not provide for analysis of
the problem in its entirety. We believe this Committee has,
to a large measure, overcome this deficiency. In the Commit-
tee's evaluation of public lands all aspects of the problem
are subjected to study by the best qualified experts avail-
able and the final recommendation incorporates every phase
of conservation.

In 1961 the Legislature, with the blessing of the Cabi-
net which comprises the Board, enacted measures to re-
organize the State Board of Conservation. The effect was to
streamline the operations of the divisions of the Board
through the consolidation of the Geological Survey, Salt
Water Fisheries, Division of Waterways, Department of Water
Resources and the various canal authorities and water man-
agement districts under a single administrative structure
with provision for a clear chain of command and effective co-
ordination between divisions.

For more than a hundred years the Trustees of the In-
ternal Improvement Fund have served as sales agents for the
sovereign lands of Florida. By virtue of the abundance of
land first existing in the State and the interest of de-
velopers, the approach of the Trustees and their staff has
been of concern with the wise sale of State lands rather than
acquisition of additional lands for Florida citizens. Early in
1961, in recognition of the needs of a growing Florida and
out of awareness of the millions now being spent by highly
developed states to reclaim recreational lands, the Trustees
at the recommendation of the Governor adopted a new policy
of land acquisition and initiated action on a land manage-
ment program. All sales of State-owned lands are now care-
fully reviewed by the Governor's Committee before a sale is
made. If the lands sought by private owners are of value for
present or future public usage, they are withheld from sale
and, in most cases, dedicated for public purposes.

The State Road Department has also taken cognizance
of its responsibilities in the field of land management. The
Department, by Board action, will no longer release the ri-
parian rights to lands which it owns without approval by the
Trustees. The Department owns hundreds of miles of rights
of way which are riparian in nature and which offer tremen-
dous opportunities for public access to the lakes, streams,
the ocean and the Gulf. These properties will play a major
role in plans to provide for Florida's future recreational re-

Another significant improvement which has almost es-
caped public notice was the passage of enabling legislation
which authorized the flood control and water management
districts to expend funds for recreational purposes. The

Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District exercises
control over hundreds of thousands of acres of lands which
alone exceed Lake Okeechobee in total acreage. These areas
are quite close to large metropolitan areas and offer these
people a guaranteed ownership of public lands which, when
fully developed, will provide excellent facilities for hunting,
fishing, boating, camping, bird sanctuaries and all other as-
spects of a well managed program.
This Committee believes that a new era has begun for
resource management in Florida. The cumulative efforts of
all conservation oriented agencies are beginning to provide
dividends which have exceeded all expectations.


State Lands Important

It became apparent early in our studies that State owned
lands should be inventoried. Land is the basic ingredient in
recreational planning and without accurate data it is diffi-
cult, if not impossible, to prepare programs which offer fis-
cal justification. All State owned uplands were inventoried,
indexed and appraised in terms of potential public use. The
condensed results of this study are shown in Appendix I of
this report. Each parcel of land has been field checked and
a data sheet prepared and filed in the Land Office.
The Trustees presently own 333,078 acres of land and
the Board of Education 81,936 for a combined total of 415,-
014 acres. The land values were estimated by the field
personnel to have a total value of some $48,619,000. The
property is in 652 parcels and is unevenly distributed over
forty-two counties.

Federal Lands Considered

In order to complete the public ownership picture the
Committee also inventoried those federally owned lands
which were on the Bureau of Land Management lists. The
Committee found that many of these lands had an immediate
use for public purposes and recommended to the Trustees
that certain of these lands be purchased immediately. Nearly
500 acres, with an estimated value in excess of $200,000,
are in the process of being purchased by the State for just
over $1,000. The Park Service and the Development Com-
mission are now preparing developmental plans for these
sites and it is anticipated that most of the lands will be
converted to public areas in the foreseeable future.

County Efforts Need Coordination

A review of county planning and land management pro-
grams indicated that recreational areas were being developed
on a haphazard basis in many counties, and that others
lacked the necessary staff to develop a comprehensive pro-
gram. The Committee initiated pilot studies to give guide
lines to interested counties and to assure compatibility be-
tween State and local programs.

While assistance to counties in planning certainly is
worthwhile in terms of benefits to the public, it does have a
diversionary effect on our own much needed program. Our
main effort and responsibility is to the State and county aid
should be limited to assistance in acquisition of State and
Federally owned lands for public purposes and the coordina-
tion of effort. We cannot afford to dilute our resources at a
time when State Planning should be our primary objective.

Mined Out Areas Can BE Converted to Public Use
i Preliminary discussions have been held with the phos-
/phate industry and a field trip made to the phosphate pro-
ducing areas. The possibilities of initiating a sound
reclamation program having mutual value to industry and the
community are most promising. This will require a long range
plan which can, if properly implemented, resolve several
serious problems now plaguing the phosphate areas. The
Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission has just recently
renovated certain mined out areas under a joint program with
the phosphate industry to provide additional fishing and out-
door recreational facilities. The Forest Service has also
Indicated a great deal of interest in reforestation. The Com-
mittee feels that this is a fruitful area for continued research
Iand study. We are also attempting to coordinate city and
county planning into our evaluation of the problem.
Suwannee Valley Potential
The possibilities inherent in the Suwannee River Basin
have been the subject of much study and investigation by
the Committee. The Suwannee River Authority was recently
enlarged to include twelve counties and this will enable that
body to analyze its problems on a regional basis. The Com-
mittee proposes to prepare a preliminary plan of development
for the Authority within the next few months.


Since its inception the Committee has sought to deter-
mine the scope and nature of Florida's recreational re-
sources so as to best chart the course of its future actions.

We have found a problem exists which must be solved by
this or some other agency. We believe that as constituted
this Committee can prepare for Florida a plan comparable
with those other states are now expending huge sums to

The problem of providing for an expanding population
the recreational outlets to assure a continuation of the
appeal our outdoors offers residents and visitors alike is re-
flected in these facts:
Attendance at State Parks amounted to 513,000 visita-
tions in the fiscal year 1950-51. By 1960-61 this had
increased to 3,647,000 or slightly better than a seven-fold
increase. It does not require much vision to see that, if this
rate of increase should continue, existing facilities will be
greatly overloaded before another ten years have passed.

Fishing licenses also present another good index of
demand for future outdoor recreational needs. In the last
twenty years the sale of licenses has increased from 37,848
to 546,906 or approximately fourteen times in twenty years.
Projecting these figures over a twenty year span to 1980
would indicate that Florida could expect millions of licensed
fishermen by that time. It should also be pointed out that
this does not include the cane pole fishermen who probably
equal or exceed in number the licensed fishermen.

The sale of hunting licenses increased from 93,000 in
1950 to 161,000 in 1958, an increase of 73 per cent. Even
more significant is the fact that during this same period the
utilization of the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission's
Wildlife Management Areas has risen from 4,700 to 32,500
which amounts to an increase of 593 per cent- This clearly

emphasizes the demand for public hunting facilities.
The Florida Development Commission in its report A
Review of Florida Beach Resources has this to say about
our beach resources:
"Of the 1016.36 miles of usable sand beach on the Flor-
ida Coast, only 309.62 miles, or less than one third, is still
publicly owned. Over one third of this amount (114.5 miles)
is owned by the federal government, approximately 52 miles
of which is not open to public use. Thus it is that only 257
miles or 25% of Florida's sand beach is still in accessible
public ownership. Significantly, only 23.7 miles of this
amount lies within State Parks."
This same pattern has been repeated in every phase of
Outdoor activity. Our indigenous bird population may vir-
tually disappear unless adequate sanctuaries are provided.
More and more lands which have provided the habitat for
these creatures are being lost to development.
Boating is rapidly becoming a major industry in Florida.
More and better access ramps will be needed. This also
introduces the demand for areas for skiing, swimming and
other aqua sports.
Governor Nelson of Wisconsin had this to say in his
evaluation of the problem:
"We do not need any more long-term research studies.
We and our communities and our resources have been
analyzed to death, at least lulled into inactivity. It seems

to me imperative that we proceed immediately to implement re-
source planning and development policies in our states, and to
work directly with those departments of the federal government
whose policies in the resource field impinge so directly upon the

Another illustration of future demand is National Park
system attendance which is increasing at a rate eight to nine
times greater than the population increase. This simply
means that as our increasing affluence permits more leisure
time we are spending more time outdoors.
Indications are that Florida will experience a population
increase of around 44% during the next ten years. This alone
dictates that Florida must plan to double its present facili-
The pressure of industrial and urban growth is already
pressing hard against Florida's existing natural resources
and this trend can be expected to continue over the next ten
to twenty years. Unless active steps are taken to alleviate the
problem and plan for the future, Florida can be expected to lose
much of her attractiveness to residents and tourists alike.


A complete and comprehensive answer to Florida's
needs cannot be given on the basis of the limited time the
Committee has had available to attack the problem. To
properly further the progress already made, the Committee
recommends authorization to proceed on the following phases
of an overall program:

1. Analyze population trends on a regional basis. The
demands of our citizens for recreational outlets have ex-
ceeded definition by political boundaries now existing in
Florida. An evaluation of present needs and any planning for
future action must consider regional needs and facilities
rather than those of a single county or community.

2. Translate regional population projections into a
comprehensive plan for Florida. With information on the
needs now current and those anticipated in hand the Com-
mittee should embark on a comprehensive plan based on the
Multiple Interrelationship Concept discussed elsewhere in
this report. For example, it might be anticipated that State
Forests would be considered for hunting, fishing, camping,
nature parks and bird sanctuaries, all in a fashion compati-
ble with their primary purpose. Similar use-planning is now
underway in the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control
District, which has shown through its cooperative efforts
with the planning section of the Florida Development Com-
mission that such efforts can have highly beneficial results.

3. Prepare a Resource Development Program and Sched-
ule. Scatter-gun development of natural resources is neither
good business nor good conservation practice. A priority
schedule of what segments of the comprehensive plan should
be undertaken will enable this and succeeding administra-
tions to meet future needs in the light of changing condi-

4. Prepare a suggested plan for financing the program.
Budgeting is an essential governmental function. The Com-
mittee believes that it could be most helpful in this regard
since many sources of revenue and many financing methods
have already been explored.
If these four steps are approved, this Committee pro-
poses to present a comprehensive plan in time for evaluation
by the Executive Branch so that recommendations requiring
legislative action can be formulated and presented to the
1963 Session of the Florida Legislature.
Florida has a rich natural heritage. Its citizens deserve
no less than the assurance that the right to use the great
outdoors will be preserved.




October 3, 1961


Acres Acres

Alachua 323.32 none
Bradford 80.00 none
Brevard 67.70 859.65
Broward 991.62 8,960.00
Citrus 3,278.51 963.45
Clay none 401.00
Collier 2,652.01 13,292.55
Columbia 92.37 18.20
Dade 140,518.02 28,640.00
DeSoto 1,267.41 none
Dixie 330.89 642.50
Duval 1,822.41 821.05
Flagler none 370.11
Glades 187.35 none
Hardee 40.00 none
Hendry 480.00 640.00
Hernando 46.66 none
Highlands 1,726.53 640.00
Holmes none 160.08
Indian River 503.46 19.72
Jefferson 80.06 none
Lake 1,232.43 316.80
Lee 2,443.09 396.08
Levy 3,785.16 1,236.91
Martin none 1,171.31
Monroe 30,327.16 1,929.16

continued on next page

Palm Beach
St. Johns
St. Lucle
Santa Rosa



Totals 333,078.54 81,936.43

Combined Total (T.I.I. Fund & Bd. of Ed.)........415,014.97

Note: Above figures exclude acreage of subdivision lots in certain
counties as exact size of lots is not available. Not included
are those Parks & Historic Memorials already dedicated for
public purposes.




De Soto
Indian River


$ 25,400.00

continued on next page

Palm Beach 232 14,596,200.00
St. Johns 14 338,308.00
St. Lucie 1 63,900.00
Santa Rosa 2 1,500.00
Seminole 5 232,000.00
Taylor 1 4,000.00
Union 6 17,725.00
Volusia 5 68,000.00
Walton 5 539,000.00
Washington 8 19,690.00

Total $48,618,679.00

* Note: No estimates of value were made by professional or accredi-
ted appraisers. All are based on estimates made by field
employees of State Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
and on file in State Land Office September 13, 1961.

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