Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 2. Parks and Recreation
3/6/2021

§ 10.1-200. Duties related to parks and outdoor recreation; additional powers.

To facilitate and encourage the public use of parks and recreational areas, to further take advantage of the positive economic impact of outdoor recreational facilities to localities and the Commonwealth, to foster the upkeep and maintenance of such resources, and to provide additional means by which the Governor and the General Assembly may determine necessary general fund appropriations and the need for other funding measures, the Department shall establish and implement a long-range plan for acquisition, maintenance, improvement, protection and conservation for public use of those areas of the Commonwealth best adapted to the development of a comprehensive system of outdoor recreational facilities in all fields, including, but not limited to: parks, forests, camping grounds, fishing and hunting grounds, scenic areas, waters and highways, boat landings, beaches and other areas of public access to navigable waters. The Department shall have the power and duty to:

1. Administer all funds available to the Department for carrying out the purposes of this chapter, and to disburse funds to any department, commission, board, agency, officer or institution of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof or any park authority.

2. Study and appraise on a continuing basis the outdoor recreational needs of the Commonwealth; assemble and disseminate information on outdoor recreation; and prepare, maintain and keep up-to-date a comprehensive plan for the development of outdoor recreational facilities of the Commonwealth.

3. Establish and promote standards for outdoor recreational facilities; encourage and assist in the coordination of federal, state, and local recreational planning; aid and advise various state institutions in the use of existing state parks and similar recreational facilities; work with the appropriate state agencies to develop areas for multiple recreational use, including, but not limited to, traditional uses such as hunting, fishing, hiking, swimming, and boating.

4. Study and develop plans and, upon request, provide assistance regarding the establishment and implementation of recreational programs for state institutions, agencies, commissions, boards, officers, political subdivisions, and park authorities.

5. Assist upon request any department, commission, board, agency, officer or institution of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof or any park authority in planning outdoor recreational facilities in conformity with its respective powers and duties and encourage and assist in the coordination of federal, state and local recreational planning.

6. Apply to any appropriate agency or officer of the United States for participation in or receipt of aid from any federal program respecting outdoor recreation, and in respect thereto, enter into contracts and agreements with the United States or any appropriate agency thereof; keep financial and other records relating to contracts and agreements with the United States or any appropriate agency thereof, and furnish appropriate officials and agencies of the United States reports and information necessary to enable the officials and agencies to perform their duties under federal programs respecting outdoor recreation.

7. Act either independently or jointly with any department, commission, board, agency, officer or institution of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof or any park authority to carry out the Department's powers and duties; and coordinate its activities with and represent the interests of the above entities having interests in the planning, maintenance, improvement, protection and conservation of outdoor recreation facilities.

8. Develop a standard against which the public can determine the extent to which the Commonwealth is meeting park and recreational needs. The standard shall be based on park usage, population trends and densities, and outdoor recreational facility demands. The standard shall be expressed in terms of acres and facilities needed on a regional and a statewide level to serve existing and projected needs and conservation goals. In the comprehensive plan cited in subsection 2 of this section, the Department shall report on (i) the development of the standard; (ii) where the Commonwealth's park system falls short of, meets or exceeds the standard; and (iii) the methodology used for determining clause (ii).

1984, c. 739, §§ 10-21.3:3, 10-21.3:5; 1988, c. 891; 1998, c. 780; 2004, c. 58.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.