In order to assure the preservation, conservation, and protection of the natural, scenic, hydrologic, floral and faunal, and recreational values of the Big Cypress Watershed in the State of Florida and to provide for the enhancement and public enjoyment thereof, the Big Cypress National Preserve is hereby established.
The Big Cypress National Preserve (hereafter referred to as the “preserve”) shall comprise the area generally depicted on the map entitled “Big Cypress National Preserve”, dated November 1971 and numbered BC–91,001, which shall be on file and available for public inspection in the Offices of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, District of Columbia, and shall be filed with appropriate offices of Collier, Monroe, and Dade Counties in the State of Florida. The Secretary of the Interior (hereafter referred to as the “Secretary”) shall, as soon as practicable, publish a detailed description of the boundaries of the preserve in the Federal Register which shall include not more than five hundred and seventy thousand acres of land and water.
The Secretary is authorized to acquire by donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, transfer from any other Federal agency, or exchange, any lands, waters, or interests therein which are located within the boundaries of the preserve or the Addition: Provided, That any lands owned or acquired by the State of Florida, or any of its subdivisions, in the preserve may be acquired by donation only and, any land acquired by the State of Florida, or any of its subdivisions, in the Addition shall be acquired in accordance with subsection (d): Provided further, That no Federal funds shall be appropriated until the Governor of Florida executes an agreement on behalf of the State which (i) provides for the transfer to the United States of all lands within the preserve previously owned or acquired by the State and (ii) provides for the donation to the United States of all lands acquired by the State within the preserve pursuant to the provision of “the Big Cypress Conservation Act of 1973” (Chapter 73–131 of the Florida Statutes) or provides for the donation to the United States of any remaining moneys appropriated pursuant to such Act for the purchase of lands within the preserve. No improved property, as defined by sections 698f to 698m–4 of this title, nor oil and gas rights, shall be acquired without the consent of the owner unless the Secretary, in his judgment, determines that such property is subject to, or threatened with, uses which are, or would be, detrimental to the purposes of the preserve. The Secretary may, if he determines that the acquisition of any other subsurface estate is not needed for the purposes of the preserve and the Addition, exclude such interest in acquiring any lands within the preserve and the Addition. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4651 of title 42 the Secretary (i) may evaluate any offer to sell land within the preserve or the Addition by any landowner and may, in his discretion, accept any offer not in excess of $10,000 without an appraisal and (ii) may direct an appraisal to be made of any unimproved property within the preserve or the Addition without notice to the owner or owners, thereof. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any federally owned lands within the preserve shall, with the concurrence of the head of the administering agency, be transferred to the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary for the purposes of sections 698f to 698m–4 of this title, without transfer of funds. Nothing in sections 698f to 698m–4 of this title shall be construed to interfere with the right of the State of Florida to acquire such property rights as may be necessary for Interstate 75.