Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 2. Parks and Recreation
8/19/2022

Chapter 2. Parks and Recreation.

Article 1. State Parks.

§ 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.

§ 10.1-200.01. Lyme disease signage.

A. The Department shall develop and post in each state park and interstate park signage addressing the appropriate steps a visitor can take to prevent tick bites, how to identify Lyme disease, and where to seek treatment.

B. The Department shall install such signage first in those areas in the Commonwealth that have been identified as most susceptible to Lyme disease and shall complete the installation of such signage in all state parks and interstate parks by January 1, 2028.

C. Until it completes the installation of all such signage, the Department shall report its progress annually to the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources.

2022, c. 303.

§ 10.1-200.1. State park master planning.

A. The Department shall undertake a master planning process (i) for all existing state parks, (ii) following the substantial acquisition of land for a new state park, and (iii) prior to undertaking substantial improvements to state parks. A master plan shall be considered a guide for the development, utilization and management of a park and its natural, cultural and historic resources and shall be adhered to closely. Each plan shall be developed in stages allowing for public input.

Stage one of the plan shall include the development of a characterization map indicating, at a minimum, boundaries, inholdings, adjacent property holdings, and other features such as slopes, water resources, soil conditions and types, natural resources, and cultural and historic resources. The stage one plan shall include a characterization of the potential types of uses for different portions of the parks and shall provide a narrative description of the natural, physical, cultural and historic attributes of the park. The stage one plan shall include the specific purposes for the park and goals and objectives to support those purposes.

Upon completion of a stage one plan, a stage two plan shall be developed by the Department which shall include the potential size, types and locations of facilities and the associated infrastructure including roads and utilities, as applicable. Proposed development of any type shall be in keeping with the character of existing improvements, if appropriate, and the natural, cultural and historic heritage and attributes of the park. The stage two plan shall include a proposed plan for phased development of the potential facilities and infrastructure. The Department shall project the development costs and the operational, maintenance, staffing and financial needs necessary for each of the various phases of park development. Projections shall also be made for the park's resource management needs and related costs. The projections shall be made part of the stage two plan.

Upon completion of the stage two plan, the stage one and stage two plans along with supporting documents shall be combined to form a master plan for the park. Development of a park shall not begin until the master plan has been reviewed by the Board of Conservation and Recreation and adopted by the Director.

B. All members of the General Assembly shall be given notice of public meetings and, prior to their adoption, the availability for review of stage one, stage two and master plans and proposed amendments for substantial improvements.

C. The master planning process shall not be considered an impediment to the acquisition of inholdings or adjacent properties. Such properties, when acquired, shall be incorporated into the master plan and their uses shall be amended into the master plan.

D. Stage one and stage two plans shall be considered complete following review and adoption by the Director. Stage one and stage two plans may only be adopted by the Director following public notice and a public meeting. The Director may make nonsubstantial amendments to master plans following public notice. A master plan or a substantial amendment to a master plan may only be adopted by the Director after considering the recommendations of the Board of Conservation and Recreation following public notice and a public meeting.

E. The Department shall solicit and consider public comment in the development of the stage one and two plans as well as the master plan and any amendments thereto. Such solicitation shall include reasonable notice to appropriate trade associations and private businesses within a 10-mile radius of the park that offer similar categories of service, including private campgrounds, marinas, and recreational facilities.

F. Master plans shall be reviewed and updated by the Department and the Board of Conservation and Recreation no less frequently than once every 10 years and shall be referenced in the Virginia Outdoors Plan.

G. Materials, documents and public testimony and input produced or taken for purposes of park planning prior to January 1, 1999, may be utilized in lieu of the process established in this section provided that it conforms with the requirements of this section and that a master plan shall be developed that conforms with this section which shall not be deemed complete until reviewed and approved in accordance with subsection D.

H. The planning process contained in this section satisfies the Department of General Services master planning requirements for lands owned or managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Department of Conservation and Recreation's Facility Development Plans shall continue to meet the Department of General Service's requirements.

I. For purposes of this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Development of a park" means any substantial physical alterations within the park boundaries other than those necessary for the repair or maintenance of existing resources or necessary for the development of the master plan.

"Substantial acquisition" means the purchase of land valued at $500,000 or more or the acquisition of the major portion of land for a new state park whichever is less.

"Substantial improvement" means physical improvements and structures valued at $500,000 or more.

1998, c. 780; 2013, c. 43; 2015, cc. 185, 469.

§ 10.1-200.2. Littering in state parks; civil penalty.

No person shall improperly dispose of litter, as defined in § 10.1-1414, within a Virginia state park. In addition to any penalties that may be assessed under § 10.1-104 or § 33.2-802, any person in violation of this section may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $250. All civil penalties imposed under this section shall be deposited in the Conservation Resources Fund.

2001, c. 172.

§ 10.1-200.3. Admittance and parking in state parks; prohibitions; civil penalty.

A. No person shall make use of, gain admittance to, or attempt to use or gain admittance to the facilities in any state park for the use of which a charge is assessed by the Department, unless the person pays the charge or price established by the Department.

B. No owner or driver shall cause or permit a vehicle to stand:

1. Anywhere in a state park outside of designated parking spaces, except for a reasonable time in order to receive or discharge passengers; or

2. In any space in a state park designated for use by the handicapped unless the vehicle displays a license plate or decal issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a similar identification issued by a similar authority of another state or the District of Columbia, which authorizes parking in a handicap space.

C. Any person violating any provision of this section may, in lieu of any criminal penalty, be assessed a civil penalty of twenty-five dollars by the Department. Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid into the Conservation Resources Fund.

2001, c. 370.

§ 10.1-201. Acquisition of lands of scenic beauty, recreational utility or historical interest.

A. The Director is authorized to acquire by gift or purchase or by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, areas, properties, lands or any estate or interest therein, of scenic beauty, recreational utility, historical interest, biological significance or any other unusual features which in his judgment should be acquired, preserved and maintained for the use, observation, education, health and pleasure of the people of Virginia. Any acquisition shall be within the limits of any appropriation made by the General Assembly for the purchase of such properties, or of voluntary gifts or contributions placed at the disposal of the Department for such purposes.

B. The Director is authorized to institute and prosecute any proceedings in the exercise of the power of eminent domain for the acquisition of such properties for public use in accordance with Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1.

C. Before any property is purchased or acquired by condemnation, the Director may request the Attorney General to examine and report upon the title of the property, and it shall be the duty of the Attorney General to make such examination and report.

D. When any property is acquired by the Director under the provisions of this section without the aid of any appropriation made by the General Assembly and exclusively with the aid of gifts or contributions placed at the disposal of the Department for that purpose, he may place the property in the custody of the person or association making such gifts or contributions, or lease the property to such person or association, for a period not to exceed 99 years, upon terms and conditions approved by the Governor, which will best preserve and maintain such property for the use, observation, education, health or pleasure of the people of Virginia.

Code 1950, § 10-21; 1950, p. 394; 1984, c. 750; 1988, c. 891; 2003, c. 940.

§ 10.1-202. Gifts, funds, and fees designated for state parks; establishment of funds.

A. The State Park Conservation Resources Fund shall consist of all state park fees, fees from concessions, civil penalties assessed pursuant to § 10.1-200.2 and under § 10.1-200.3, all revenues associated with forest product sales on state parks pursuant to § 10.1-113, and all funds accruing from, on account of, or to the use or management of state parks acquired or held by the Department. This special fund shall be noninterest bearing. The fund shall be under the direction and control of the Director and may be expended for the conservation, development, maintenance, and operations of state parks acquired or held by the Department. Unexpended portions of the fund shall not revert to the state treasury at the close of any fiscal year unless specified by an act of the General Assembly.

B. The State Park Acquisition and Development Fund shall consist of the proceeds from the sale of surplus property. This special fund shall be noninterest bearing. The fund shall be under the direction and control of the Director and shall be used exclusively for the acquisition and development of state parks. Unexpended portions of the fund shall not revert to the state treasury at the close of any fiscal year unless specified by an act of the General Assembly.

C. The State Park Projects Fund shall consist of all income, including grants from any source, gifts and bequests of money, securities and other property, and gifts and devises of real property or interests therein given or bequeathed to the Department for the conservation, development, maintenance, or operations of state parks. This special fund shall be interest bearing and any income earned from these gifts, bequests, securities or other property shall be deposited to the credit of the fund. This fund shall be under the control of the Director and may be expended with advice from the Board for the conservation, development, maintenance, or operations of state parks. Unexpended portions of the fund shall not revert to the state treasury at the close of any fiscal year unless specified by an act of the General Assembly.

D. The Director is authorized to receive and to sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of or invest as he deems proper the moneys, securities, or other real or personal property or any interest therein given or bequeathed to the Department for any of the funds established under this section, unless such action is restricted by the terms of a gift or bequest. The Director may enter into contracts and agreements, as approved by the Attorney General, to accomplish the purposes of these funds. The Director may do any and all lawful acts necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes for which the above funds were established.

E. These funds shall not include any gifts of money to the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation or other funds deposited in the Virginia Land Conservation Fund.

Code 1950, § 10-21.2; 1988, c. 891; 1992, c. 426; 1994, c. 391; 1996, cc. 677, 686; 1999, cc. 900, 906; 2001, cc. 172, 370; 2003, cc. 79, 89; 2007, c. 637; 2009, c. 856.

§ 10.1-202.1. Golden Passport established; free entry into state parks.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation shall establish a Golden Passport card that authorizes persons receiving social security disability payments to enter Virginia's state parks without having to pay an admittance or parking fee. Persons seeking such a card shall, upon the presentation of proof of receiving such disability payments, be issued a card by the Division of State Parks. The card shall remain valid during the time a person is receiving such payments.

1998, c. 778.

§ 10.1-202.2. Disabled Veteran's Passport established; free entry into state parks and discounted services.

The Department shall establish a Disabled Veteran's Passport that entitles the bearer to: (i) enter state parks in the Commonwealth without the payment of a parking or admission fee and (ii) receive a 50 percent discount on camping and swimming fees, picnic shelter rentals, and other Department-provided equipment rentals. The passport shall be issued upon request to a veteran of the armed forces of the United States with a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or from the military service that discharged the veteran, certifying that such veteran has a service-connected disability rating of 100 percent. The passport shall be valid for as long as the determination of the 100 percent service-connected disability by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs remains in effect.

2009, c. 560.

§ 10.1-203. Establishment, protection and maintenance of Appalachian Trail.

A. The Appalachian Trail shall be developed and administered primarily as a footpath, consonant with the provisions of the National Trails Systems Act applicable to the Appalachian Trail as part of the National Scenic Trails System, and its natural scenic beauty shall be preserved insofar as is practicable. The use of motorized vehicles by the general public along the trail is prohibited, and violation of this prohibition shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, the owner of private land over which the trail passes may use or authorize use of motorized vehicles on or across the trail for purposes incident to ownership and management of the land and the Department may authorize use of the trail by motorized emergency vehicles. The Department may permit other uses of the trail and land acquired hereunder, by the owner of adjoining land or others, in a manner and for purposes that will not substantially interfere with the primary use of the trail. Furthermore, the Department may grant temporary or permanent rights-of-way across lands acquired under this section, under terms and conditions deemed advisable. Nothing in this section shall limit the right of the public to pass over existing public roads which are part of the trail, or prevent the Department from performing work necessary for forest fire prevention and control, insect, pest and disease control, and the removal of damage caused by natural disaster. The Department may enter into cooperative agreements with agencies of the federal government or with private organizations to provide for the maintenance of the trail. A person who has granted a right-of-way for the trail across his land, or his successor in title, shall not be liable to any user of the trail for injuries suffered on that portion of the trail unless the injuries are caused by his willful or wanton misconduct.

B. The Department is authorized to (i) enter into written cooperative agreements with landowners, private organizations and individuals and (ii) acquire by agreement, gift or purchase land, rights-of-way and easements for the purpose of establishing, protecting and maintaining a walking trail right-of-way across the Commonwealth, under such terms and conditions, including payment by the Department of property taxes on trail lands or property so acquired or subject to such use, as shall protect the interests of the actual or adjacent landowners or land users and as shall further the purposes of this section. Any department or agency of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision, may transfer to the Department land or rights in land for these purposes, on terms and conditions as agreed upon, or may enter into an agreement with the Department providing for the establishment and protection of the trail.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 136, § 10-21.3:1; 1972, c. 413; 1984, cc. 739, 750; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-204. Statewide system of trails.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Other power-driven mobility device" means any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines, whether or not designed primarily for use by individuals with mobility disabilities, that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, including golf cars, electronic personal assistive mobility devices (EPAMDs), or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes, but that is not a wheelchair within the meaning of this section.

"Wheelchair" means a manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of locomotion.

B. The Department is authorized to enter into such agreements and to acquire interests as may be necessary to establish, maintain, protect, and regulate a statewide system of trails in order to provide for the ever-increasing outdoor recreational needs of an expanding population, and in order to promote public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoor, natural, and remote areas of the Commonwealth. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department shall not develop, establish, or extend any system of trails, including linear parks or greenways, in any county having the county manager form of government, unless it has submitted to the appropriate local agency, commission, or board, a plan of development, where such plan is required by local ordinance, for the proposed system of trails.

C. The statewide system of trails shall be composed of:

1. Scenic trails so located as to provide maximum potential for the appreciation of natural areas and for the conservation and enjoyment of the significant scenic, historic, natural, ecological, geological, or cultural qualities of the areas through which such trails may pass;

2. Recreation trails to provide a variety of outdoor recreation uses in or reasonably accessible to urban areas; and

3. Connecting trails or side trails to provide additional points of public access to recreation trails or scenic trails, or to provide connections between such trails, or to provide access from urban areas to major outdoor recreation sites.

D. Each trail shall be limited to foot, horse, or nonmotorized bicycle use, or a combination thereof, as deemed appropriate by the Department. The use of motorized vehicles by the public shall be prohibited along any of the scenic, recreation, or connecting or side trails. This statewide system of trails may contain, at the discretion of the Department, camping sites, shelters, and related public-use and management facilities, which will not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the trails.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department from (i) allowing the use of wheelchairs or other power-driven mobility devices by disabled individuals on the statewide system of trails or (ii) requiring a user of an other power-driven mobility device to provide a credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of the person's disability, in accordance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327) and other applicable state and federal laws.

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the Department is authorized to permit, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, the operation of electric power-assisted bicycles and electric personal assistive mobility devices as defined in § 46.2-100 on any bicycle path or trail designated by the Department for such use.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 136, § 10-21.3:1; 1972, c. 413; 1984, cc. 739, 750; 1988, c. 891; 1993, c. 755; 2012, c. 598.

§ 10.1-204.1. (Expires January 1, 2027) State Trails Advisory Committee established; report.

A. The State Trails Advisory Committee (the Committee) is hereby established as an advisory committee of the Department of Conservation and Recreation to assist the Commonwealth in developing and implementing a statewide system of attractive, sustainable, connected, and enduring trails for the perpetual use and enjoyment of the citizens of the Commonwealth and future generations. The Committee shall be appointed by the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and shall be composed of a representative from the Department of Wildlife Resources, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. National Park Service; the Virginia Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission; and nonlegislative citizen members, including representatives from the Virginia Outdoors Plan Technical Advisory Committee and the Recreational Trails Advisory Committee and other individuals with technical expertise in trail creation, construction, maintenance, use, and management. The Committee shall meet at least twice each calendar year.

B. The Advisory Committee shall examine and provide recommendations regarding (i) options to close the gaps in a statewide system of trails as described in § 10.1-204; (ii) creative public and private funding strategies and partnerships to leverage resources to fund the development of trails; (iii) integrated approaches to promote and market trail values and benefits; (iv) the development of specialty trails, including concepts related to old-growth forest trails across the Commonwealth; (v) strategies to encourage and create linkages between communities and open space; (vi) strategies to foster communication and networking among trail stakeholders; (vii) strategies to increase tourism and commercial activities associated with a statewide trail system; (viii) strategies to enhance the involvement of organizations that promote outdoor youth activities, including the Boy Scouts of the U.S.A. and Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and the 4-H program of the Virginia Cooperative Extension; and (ix) other practices, standards, statutes, and guidelines that the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation determines may enhance the effectiveness of trail planning across the Commonwealth, including methods for receiving input regarding potential trail impacts upon owners of underlying or neighboring properties.

C. No later than October 1 of each year, the Director shall provide a status report on the work of the Committee to the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources; the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; and the Chairman and members of the Virginia delegation to the Chesapeake Bay Commission. The report shall include (i) current and future plans for a statewide system of attractive, sustainable, connected, and enduring trails across the Commonwealth and (ii) any recommendations from the Committee that will be incorporated into the Virginia Outdoors Plan, which plan shall serve as the repository for recommendations from the Committee. The Virginia Outdoors Plan updates shall be used to capture and advance the concepts developed by the Committee.

D. Members of the Committee shall receive no compensation for their service and shall not be entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

E. For the purposes of this section, "old-growth forest" means a forest ecosystem distinguished by trees older than 150 years and tree-related structures that naturally contribute to biodiversity of the forested ecosystems and provide habitat to native Virginia wildlife species, including wildlife species that have been approved for introduction by the Department of Wildlife Resources.

F. The provisions of this section shall expire on January 1, 2027.

2015, c. 461; 2020, cc. 314, 958.

§ 10.1-205. Management of False Cape State Park.

A. The Director shall adopt measures to safeguard the environment of False Cape State Park. These shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. Provisions to ensure that adequate drinking water and environmentally sound sewage disposal are provided for visitors to the Park;

2. Adequate measures to protect the dunes, wildlife, and sensitive areas of the Park;

3. Adequate measures to protect, wherever practicable, nesting areas of sea turtles, beach nesting birds, peregrine falcons, and other endangered species.

B. The Director shall be responsible for providing that law-enforcement, fire and rescue services are available for the Park.

C. The Director shall consider limiting visitors into the Park to less than 2,000 per day if such a lower limit is necessary to preserve the Park environment.

D. The Director shall consider further limiting visitors into the Park during certain portions of the year if such a limitation is necessary to preserve the environment of the Park and of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

E. No motor powered vehicle of any kind shall be permitted upon the land of False Cape State Park except as follows:

1. A public transportation system operated by the Department, or its licensee or designee, to transport not more than 2,000 persons per day into and out of the Park;

2. Official vehicles of the Commonwealth and of the City of Virginia Beach;

3. Vehicles engaged in the construction and maintenance of improvements within the Park authorized by the Commonwealth;

4. Police and emergency vehicles;

5. Vehicles for which the operators thereof have been issued permits (i) by the Department of Interior, prior to July 1, 1984, pursuant to Public Law 96-315 to travel through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and (ii) by the Department to travel through the Park.

1984, c. 706, § 10-21.3:2; 1988, c. 891.

Article 1.1. Interstate Parks.

§ 10.1-205.1. Breaks Interstate Park Compact of 1954.

§ 1. The Governor is hereby authorized and directed to execute, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a compact with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which compact shall be in form substantially as follows:

BREAKS INTERSTATE PARK COMPACT

Pursuant to authority granted by an Act of the 83rd Congress of the United States, being Public Law 275, approved August 14, 1953, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Commonwealth of Virginia do hereby covenant and agree as follows:

Article I.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Commonwealth of Virginia agree to create, develop and operate an interstate park to be known as the Breaks Interstate Park, which shall be located along the Russell Fork of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River and on adjacent areas in Pike County, Kentucky, and Dickenson and Buchanan Counties, Virginia. Said park shall be of such area and of such character as may be determined by the Commission created by this Compact.

Article II.

There is hereby created the Breaks Interstate Park Commission, which shall be a body corporate with the power and duties set forth herein and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it by subsequent action of the appropriate authorities of Kentucky and Virginia. The Commission shall consist of the Director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation or his designee and the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Parks or his designee as voting, ex officio members, and three commissioners from each of the two states, each of whom shall be a citizen of the state he shall represent. Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Governor. Vacancies shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term. The term of the commissioners appointed by the Governor shall be for four years. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of four years each. Each commissioner shall hold office until his successor is appointed and qualified. An officer or employee of the State, a political subdivision or the United States government may be appointed a commissioner under this act.

Article III.

The Commission created herein shall be a joint corporate instrumentality of both the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of effecting the objects of this Compact, and shall be deemed to be performing governmental functions of the two states in the performance of its duties hereunder. The Commission shall have power to sue and be sued, to contract and be contracted with, to use a common seal and to make and adopt suitable by-laws, rules and regulations. The Commission shall have the authority to acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise real estate and other property, and to dispose of such real estate and other property. Each Commonwealth agrees that it will authorize the Commission to exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire property located within each Commonwealth required by the Commission to effectuate the purposes of this Compact.

Article IV.

The Commission shall select from among its members a chairman and a vice-chairman, and may select from among its members a secretary and treasurer or may designate other persons to fill these positions. It may appoint, and at its pleasure remove or discharge, such officers and legal, clerical, expert and other assistants and employees as may be required to carry the provisions of this Compact into effect, and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation. It may establish and maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business, and may meet at any time or place. A majority of the commissioners present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The commissioners shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their expenses incurred in and incident to the performance of their duties. They shall take the oath of office required of officers and their respective states.

Article V.

Each Commonwealth agrees that the officers and departments of each will be authorized to do all things falling within their respective jurisdictions necessary or incidental to the carrying out of the Compact in every particular. The Commission shall be entitled to the services of any State officer or agency in the same manner as any other department or agency of this State. The Commission shall keep accurate records, showing in full its receipts and disbursements, and said records shall be open at any reasonable time to the inspection of such representatives of the two Commonwealths as may be duly constituted for that purpose. The Commission shall submit annually and at other times as required such reports as may be required by the laws of each Commonwealth or by the Governor thereof.

Article VI.

The cost of acquiring land and other property required in the development and operation of the Breaks Interstate Park and constructing, maintaining and operating improvements and facilities therein and equipping same may be defrayed by funds received from appropriations, gifts, the use of money received as fees or charges for the use of said park and facilities, or by the issuance of revenue bonds, or by a combination of such sources of funds. The Commission may charge for admission to said park, or make other charges deemed appropriate by it and shall have the use of funds so received for park purposes. The Commission is authorized to issue revenue bonds, which shall not be obligations of either state, pursuant to procedures which shall be in substantial compliance with the provisions of laws of either or both states governing the issuance of revenue bonds by governmental agencies.

Article VII.

All money, securities and other property, real and personal, received by way of gift or otherwise or revenue received from its operations may be retained by the Commission and used for the development, maintenance and operation of the park or for other park purposes.

The Commission shall not pledge the credit of either Commonwealth except by and with the authority of the General Assembly thereof.

Article VIII.

This Compact may be amended from time to time by the concurrent action of the two Commonwealth parties hereto.

§ 2. All governmental agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia are authorized to cooperate with the Breaks Interstate Park Commission, it being the policy of this Commonwealth to perform and carry out the Compact and to accomplish the purposes thereof. The Department of Conservation and Recreation is authorized to transfer funds available to it to the Breaks Interstate Park Commission with the same effect as if it were expending funds on State parks. The Breaks Interstate Park Commission is authorized to exercise the right of eminent domain on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia in acquiring land or other property required in the establishment or enlargement of a Breaks Interstate Park.

§ 3. The Compact approved herein and other provisions of this act dependent thereon shall become effective upon the ratification and approval of the Compact by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and upon approval of this Compact by the Congress of the United States.

Until such time as the Commonwealth of Kentucky approves the Compact as amended by the first enactment clause hereof, the Compact adopted pursuant to Chapter 37 of the Acts of Assembly of 1954, as amended by Chapter 292 of the Acts of Assembly of 1964, shall prevail.

1954, c. 37; 1964, c. 292; 1994, c. 622.

Article 2. Outdoor Recreation.

§ 10.1-206. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 84.

§ 10.1-207. Cooperation of other departments, etc.

All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, officers, and institutions of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof and park authorities shall cooperate with the Department in the preparation, revision and implementation of a comprehensive plan for the development of outdoor recreational facilities, and such local and detailed plans as may be adopted pursuant thereto. The comprehensive plan shall consider and incorporate, where applicable, wildlife corridors and any recommendation of the Wildlife Corridor Action Plan developed pursuant to § 29.1-579.

1984, c. 739, § 10-21.3:6; 1988, c. 891; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 498.

§ 10.1-208. Acquisition of property; making property available for agricultural and timbering uses, outdoor and recreational uses.

A. The Director is authorized to acquire by gift or purchase (i) unrestricted fee simple title to tracts, (ii) fee simple title to such land subject to reservation of farming rights or timber rights or (iii) easements in gross or other interests in real estate as are designed to maintain the character of the land as open-space land. Whenever practicable in the judgment of the Director, real property acquired pursuant to this chapter shall be made available for agricultural and timbering uses which are compatible with the purposes of this chapter.

B. The Director is authorized to acquire, in the name of the Commonwealth, by gift or purchase, any real property or any interest therein, as the Director deems necessary for obtaining, maintaining, improving, protecting and conserving outdoor areas suitable for the development of a system of outdoor recreational facilities, and to transfer such property to other state agencies as provided in § 2.2-1150.

1984, c. 739, § 10-21.3:7; 1988, c. 891.

Article 3. Virginia Natural Area Preserves Act.

§ 10.1-209. Definitions.

Whenever used or referred to in this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the text:

"Fund" means the Natural Area Preservation Fund.

"Dedication" means the transfer to the Commonwealth of an estate, interest, or right in a natural area by any manner authorized in § 10.1-213.

"Instrument of dedication" means any written document by which an estate, interest, or right in a natural area conveys formal dedication as a natural area preserve pursuant to the provisions of § 10.1-213.

"Natural area" means any area of land, water, or both land and water, whether publicly or privately owned, that retains or has reestablished its natural character, though it need not be completely natural and undisturbed; or which is important in preserving rare or vanishing flora, fauna, native ecological systems, geological, natural historical, scenic or similar features of scientific or educational value benefiting the citizens of the Commonwealth.

"Natural area preserve" means a natural area that has been dedicated pursuant to § 10.1-213.

"Natural heritage resources" means the habitat of rare, threatened, or endangered plant and animal species, rare or state significant natural communities or geologic sites, and similar features of scientific interest benefiting the welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

"Program" means the Virginia Natural Heritage Program.

"Owner" means any individual, corporation, partnership, trust or association, and all governmental units except the state, its department, agencies or institutions.

"Registry" means an agreement between the Director and the owner of a natural area to protect and manage the natural area for its specified natural heritage resource values.

"System" means the state system of natural area preserves established under § 10.1-214.

1989, c. 553.

§ 10.1-210. Additional powers of the Department.

In addition to other powers conferred by law and subject to the provisions of this article, the Department shall have the power, which may be delegated by the Director:

1. To establish criteria for the selection, registration and dedication of natural areas and natural area preserves.

2. To purchase, lease or otherwise acquire in the name of the Commonwealth, using moneys from the Natural Area Preservation Fund, lands suitable for natural area preserves.

3. To acquire by gift, devise, purchase, or otherwise, absolutely or in trust, and to hold and, unless otherwise restricted by the terms of a gift or devise, to encumber, convey or otherwise dispose of, any real property, any estate or interests therein, or products on or derived from such real property, as may be necessary and proper in carrying into effect the provisions of this article.

4. To accept, hold and administer gifts and bequests of money, securities, or other property, absolutely or in trust, made for purposes of this article. Unless otherwise restricted by the terms of the gift or bequest, the Department may sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of such money, securities or other property given or bequeathed to the Department. The principal of such funds, together with the income and all revenues derived therefrom, shall be placed in the Natural Area Preservation Fund.

1989, c. 553.

§ 10.1-211. Additional duties of the Department.

In addition to other duties conferred by law, the Department shall, subject to the provisions of this article:

1. Preserve the natural diversity of biological resources of the Commonwealth.

2. Maintain a Natural Heritage Program to select and nominate areas containing natural heritage resources for registration, acquisition, and dedication of natural areas and natural area preserves.

3. Develop and implement a Natural Heritage Plan that shall govern the Natural Heritage Program in the creation of a system of registered and dedicated natural area preserves.

4. Publish and disseminate information pertaining to natural areas and natural area preserves.

5. Grant permits to qualified persons for the conduct of scientific research and investigations within natural area preserves.

6. Provide recommendations to the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and to the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services on species for listing under the Virginia Endangered Plant and Insect Act, prior to the adoption of regulations therefor.

7. Provide recommendations to the Executive Director of the Department of Wildlife Resources and to the Board of Wildlife Resources on species for listing under the Virginia Endangered Species Act, prior to the adoption of regulations therefor.

8. Cooperate with other local, state and federal agencies in developing management plans for real property under their stewardship that will identify, maintain and preserve the natural diversity of biological resources of the Commonwealth.

9. Provide for management, development and utilization of any lands purchased, leased or otherwise acquired and enforce the provisions of this article governing natural area preserves, the stewardship thereof, the prevention of trespassing thereon, or other actions deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.

1989, c. 553; 2020, c. 958.

§ 10.1-212. Virginia Natural Heritage Program.

A. The Virginia Natural Heritage Program is hereby established and shall be administered by the Department.

B. For purposes of this Program the Department shall:

1. Produce an inventory of the Commonwealth's natural heritage resources, including their location and ecological status.

2. Maintain a natural heritage data bank of inventory data and other relevant information for ecologically significant sites supporting natural heritage resources. Information from this data bank will be made available to public agencies and may be made available to private institutions or individuals for environmental assessment and land management purposes.

3. Develop a Natural Heritage Plan which establishes priorities for the protection, acquisition and management of registered and dedicated natural areas and natural area preserves.

C. The Program shall include other functions as may be assigned by the Director for the registration, dedication, protection and stewardship of natural areas and natural area preserves.

1989, c. 553.

§ 10.1-213. Dedication of natural area preserves.

A. The Director may, in the name of the Department, accept the dedication of natural areas on lands deemed by the Director to qualify as natural area preserves under the provisions of this article. Natural area preserves may be dedicated by voluntary act of the owner. The owner of a qualified natural area may transfer fee simple title or other interest in land to the Commonwealth. Natural area preserves may be acquired by gift, grant, or purchase.

B. Dedication of a natural preserve shall become effective only upon acceptance of the instrument of dedication by the Director.

C. The instrument of dedication may:

1. Contain restrictions and other provisions relating to management, use, development, transfer, and public access, and may contain any other restrictions and provisions as may be necessary or advisable to further the purposes of this article;

2. Define, consistently with the purposes of this article, the respective rights and duties of the owner and of the Commonwealth and provide procedures to be followed in case of violations of the restrictions;

3. Recognize and create reversionary rights, transfers upon conditions or with limitations, and gifts over; and

4. Vary in provisions from one natural area preserve to another in accordance with differences in the characteristics and conditions of the several areas.

D. Public departments, commissions, boards, counties, municipalities, corporations, and institutions of higher education and all other agencies and instrumentalities of the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions are empowered to dedicate suitable areas within their jurisdiction as natural area preserves.

E. Subject to the approval of the Governor, the Commonwealth may enter into amendments to the instrument of dedication upon finding that the amendment will not permit an impairment, disturbance, use, or development of the area inconsistent with the provisions of this article. If the fee simple estate in the natural area preserve is not held by the Department under this article, no amendment may be made without the written consent of the owner of the other interests therein.

1989, c. 553.

§ 10.1-214. Virginia natural area preserves system established.

A state system of natural area preserves is hereby established and shall be called the Virginia Natural Area Preserves System. The system shall consist of natural area preserves dedicated as provided in § 10.1-213. Once dedicated, a natural area preserve shall be managed in a manner consistent with continued preservation of the natural heritage resources it supports.

1989, c. 553.

§ 10.1-215. Natural Area Preservation Fund established.

A. A fund consisting of general fund appropriations, gifts, bequests, devises, fees, lease proceeds, and funds accruing from, or attributable to, the use or management of state natural area preserves acquired or held by the Department known as the Natural Area Preservation Fund is hereby established.

B. Any funds remaining in such fund at the end of the biennium, including all appropriations, gifts, bequests, devises, fees, lease proceeds, and funds accruing from, or attributable to, the use or management of state natural area preserves acquired or held by the Department, and interest accruing thereon, shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Natural Area Preservation Fund.

1989, c. 553; 2005, c. 94.

§ 10.1-216. Natural area registry.

A. The Department shall maintain a state registry of voluntarily protected natural areas to be called the Virginia Registry of Natural Areas. Registration of natural areas shall be accomplished through voluntary agreement between the owner of the natural area and the Director. State-owned lands may be registered by agreement with the agency to which the land is allocated. Registry agreements may be terminated by either party at any time, and upon such termination the area shall be removed from the registry.

B. A natural area shall be registered when an agreement to protect and manage the natural area for its specified natural heritage resource has been signed by the owner and the Director. The owner of a registered natural area shall be given a certificate signifying the inclusion of the area in the registry.

1989, c. 553.

§ 10.1-217. Gifts, devises and bequests.

Gifts, devises or bequests, whether personal or real property, and the income derived therefrom, accepted by the Director, shall be deemed as gifts to the Commonwealth, which shall be exempt from all state and local taxes, and shall be regarded as the property of the Commonwealth for the purposes of all tax laws.

1989, c. 553.

Article 4. Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation.

§ 10.1-217.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 803 and 835, cl. 91.