Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 18-24.006 - Council Evaluation and Ranking

(1) Following full review, the Council shall develop a list of projects for consideration by the Board in accordance with the provisions of Sections 259.105(3)(b) and 259.105(4), (8), (9), (10), (13), (14), (15), and (16), F.S.
(2) Following the full review of projects pursuant to Rule 18-24.005, F.A.C., the Council shall select projects for inclusion on the list. An affirmative vote of at least five council members shall be required to place a project on the list to be presented to the Board. The Council may provide recommendations to the Division of State Lands on which category or categories to place each land acquisition project, or portions thereof.
(3) The Division of State Lands shall categorize the list pursuant to Section 259.105(17), F.S., in preparation for work plan development. The Council shall evaluate the entire list of approved projects and rank them individually in numerical priority order within each category for consideration by the Board as follows:
(a) When assigning priority rankings to projects the Council shall give increased priority to those projects that meet the provisions of the Florida Forever criteria described in Sections 259.105(9)(j) and (l), F.S., as further described in subsections 18-24.0021(10) and (12), F.A.C., and in Section 259.105(10), F.S., as described in paragraph (3)(b) of this rule.
(b) The council shall also give increased priority to those projects where the state's land conservation plans overlap with the military's need to protect lands, water, and habitat to ensure the sustainability of military missions including:
1. Protecting habitat on nonmilitary land for any species found on military land that is designated as threatened or endangered, or is a candidate for such designation under the Endangered Species Act or any Florida statute, as determined by Florida Natural Areas Inventory in coordination with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
2. Protecting areas underlying low-level military air corridors or operating areas, as described in official military documents presented by the affected military installations; and
3. Protecting areas identified as clear zones, accident potential zones, and air installation compatible use buffer zones delineated by our military partners, and for which federal or other funding is available to assist with the project pursuant to subsection 18-24.021(11), F.A.C.
(c) Priority Rankings for each project shall be determined by the Council based on the results of the full review detailed in Rule 18-24.005, F.A.C., a comparative analysis of each project's ability to meet the Florida Forever goals and measures and the Florida Forever criteria as identified in Rules 18-24.0021 and 18-24.0022, F.A.C., and additional information as identified in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d). As an initial information source for conducting this comparative analysis, the Department of Environmental Protection shall provide the council a comparative analysis and evaluation of each Florida Forever Project, which shall include rankings for each geographic-based resource type outlined in the subsection 18-24.0022(2), F.A.C., as well as rankings based on an efficient resource analysis using a computer modeling approach to conservation reserve design that involves iterative site selection, which describes those projects offering the greatest return in resource protection given the estimated acreage likely to be acquired by the Florida Forever Program. The Department also shall provide the council with a matrix of the criteria met by each project including the criteria described in paragraph (b), as well as information on the current status of negotiations to acquire property on the Division of State Lands work plan as described in subsection (6). The Council shall also consider any other contributing technical analysis of Florida Forever projects submitted by Council members, other organizations or persons in conducting its review of projects for priority ranking.
(d) The Council shall also consider the following when developing its priority list:
1. Projects that are considered priority resources, as described in subsection 18-24.0022(6), F.A.C., for multiple Florida Forever goals shall be given greater consideration than those that are considered priority resources for fewer or only one Florida Forever goal. Projects that meet multiple Florida Forever criteria, as described in Rule 18-24.0021, F.A.C., shall be given greater consideration than those that meet fewer or only one Florida Forever criterion.
2. Projects with the greatest percentage of acreage acquired, as measured by subparagraph 18-24.0022(2)(a) 4., F.A.C., shall be given greater consideration than those with a lesser percentage of acreage acquired if the remaining lands to be acquired contribute significantly to the Florida Forever goals and measures.
3. Projects that close a critical gap in a recreational or ecological greenway, or landscape linkage, shall be given greater consideration than those that do not.
4. Projects that provide the greatest opportunities for resource-based recreation as identified in the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which is prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Recreation and Parks for the State of Florida pursuant to Section 375.021, F.S., shall be given greater consideration than those that provide fewer opportunities for resource-based recreation.
5. Lands that help to address the challenges of global climate change by providing opportunities to sequester carbon, provide habitat, protect coastal lands or barrier islands, and otherwise mitigate and help adapt to the effects of sea-level rise, shall be given greater consideration than those that do not.
6. Many factors, other than technical resource data, are important in the project evaluation, selection, and ranking process. For example threat of development or loss of resource values are difficult factors with no clear methodology for comparing projects numerically at this time. Similarly, public support, owner's willingness to sell at a reasonable price, management needs and other important factors takes on many forms that are not readily quantifiable. Additionally, other important information that may not be explicitly captured by the current Florida Forever goals and measures may be presented to the Council in the Project Evaluation Report, prepared pursuant to Rule 18-24.005, F.A.C., or during public hearings held pursuant to paragraphs 18-24.004(1)(c) and 18-24.005(3)(c), F.A.C. The Council shall consider these and other factors identified during the project evaluation and public hearings of the council as additional information when deciding where to rank a project on the priority list.
(4) The estimated value of all projects recommended to the Board by the Council, shall exceed the amount of money available in the Fund for acquisition.
(5) All acquisition projects approved by the Board shall be eligible for funding, with available resources targeted initially toward projects in High Priority Group of the work plan developed pursuant to subsection (6). However, the Board may approve the purchase of any project from any group in furtherance of the intent expressed in Section 259.105(2)(e), F.S.
(6) The Division of State Lands shall prepare a categorized acquisition work plan pursuant to Section 259.105(17), F.S. The work plan shall be submitted to the Council at a public meeting. After receiving public testimony during at least one public meeting or hearing, the Council shall consider the Division's work plan and, when satisfied, shall adopt the work plan by a majority vote of its members. A copy of the work plan shall be provided to the Board no later than October 1 of each year. The Division of State Lands will use the Council's priority list to develop its work plan. Projects in each of the work plan categories shall be placed in priority groups as follows:
(a) High Priority Group: Those acquisition projects proposed for approval, which will receive the highest priority for acquisition. Projects designated for this group shall be so designated based on the Council's priority ranking. The acreage of projects designated for the High Priority Group within each category shall be limited to the top 33% or less of the acreage of projects within each category on the list, as determined by the Council.
(b) Medium Priority Group: Those acquisition projects proposed for approval that are considered by the Council to be important, but not of the highest priority. The acreage of projects designated for the Medium Priority Group shall be limited to the middle ranked 33% or less of the acreage of projects within each category on the list, as determined by the Council.
(c) Low Priority Group: Those acquisition projects proposed for approval that are considered by the Council to be important, but not as important as those included in the high and medium resource priority groups. The Low Priority Group shall include at least the lowest ranked 33% of the acreage of projects within each category on the list, as determined by the Council.

Notes

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 18-24.006
Rulemaking Authority 259.035(1), (4), 259.105(9), (18) FS. Law Implemented 259.035, 259.04, 259.041, 259.045, 259.07, 259.105 FS.
New 7-17-01, Amended 5-1-10.

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